Brad Napier, a longtime assistant coach at Logan High School, has been selected as head boys’ basketball coach at Mingo Central.
The hiring will have to be approved by the state, since the Mingo County Board of Education is still under state control. He will also teach Physical Education at MCHS.
Napier was selected from several applicants. The original list was narrowed down to three candidates and Napier was the final choice.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to this job,” Napier said in an exclusive interview on Thursday morning. “It is a great opportunity and that is a great school. The sky is the limit.”
Napier said in the future he plans to move to the area from Logan. He and his wife Cindy both currently teach at Logan Middle School.
Napier replaces Frankie Smith, who abruptly left the program a few weeks ago, after he took the job this past summer. Smith had replaced Duane Estepp, who guided the program during its first year of the schools’ existence.
“We are very excited that Coach Brad Napier is going to be joining the Mingo Central family as head boys’ basketball coach,” said principal Teresa Jones. “We feel very fortunate to have landed a coach that has the credentials of the caliber of Coach Napier. He brings a wealth of knowledge about leading young men and a successful basketball program. We are thrilled that he will be bringing his energy, enthusiasm, and experience to the Miner basketball program.”
“All of those communities have a great basketball tradition,” Napier said. “That is the kind of program that I’ve been around and that I like being a part of. That is one of the reasons I applied for the job.”
Mingo Central is a consolidation of Williamson, Matewan, Burch and Gilbert. This is only the second season for the school.
“I think the Mingo Central position is a great job,” he added. “I expect to win and I know the fans there expect to win.”
Napier said he prefers an up-tempo style of basketball.
“I like to change defenses, press and trap,” he said. “I also am a believer in man-to-man defense. If you can’t play man-to-man, it is hard to win in the tournament.”
Napier played his high school basketball at the old Harts High School for Coach Harry Kirk as the starting point guard from 1995-98. He also was called up to action his freshman season, after the junior high ended its season.
Napier then attended West Virginia State College where he played basketball from 1998 to 2002. Napier has served as an assistant under Mark Hatcher at Logan for 11 years. He has been a big part of the Wildcats success the past few seasons. Logan won the 2010 Class AAA state championship with Napier at Coach Hatcher’s side.
“There is some talent over there,” Napier said. “I want them to buy into becoming a winning program. I’m very excited to get this opportunity.”