The Metcalfe County Lady Hornets have a new basketball coach. During ceremonies Tuesday at Metcalfe County High School, Monroe County native and former Meade County coach Josh Hurt was named the new coach at MCHS.
“I think it is a program that has the potential to do some really good things,” Hurt said. “The high school is on a trajectory to do some really good things academically, and when I talked to the people here, the enthusiasm about the program, it felt like a place that would lend itself to what I hope is one of the final opportunities of my career.
“The excitement of this is the players don’t know me and I don’t know them. We’ve been at Meade County for 10 years and we’ve had tremendous success, but sometimes you need to stay sharp yourself with a different opportunity. And I think this one looks like a great chance for success.”
There were a total of 17 applicants for the position and Metcalfe County athletic director Freddie Harbison said they had a lot of very qualified candidates. “We had four or five applicants that were very impressive,” he said. “But Josh just stood out. It was everything about him, his presence in the room, his excitement, the way he talked. He stood out above everyone else.”
And Hurt has some pretty impressive numbers, too. Over 10 years at Meade County, Hurt guided the Lady Waves to a 149-54 record, including eight trips to the 3rd region tournament. Last year, Meade County went 16-16, won the regional title and competed in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Sweet 16.
“The program here (at Metcalfe County), just from researching it, looks like we’ve been on the fringe of success,” Hurt explained. “We’ve had times where we’ve won some games, but we’ve never really gotten over the top. So that’s the challenge that lays before us and our players, the opportunity to take this thing and put it in another gear if we can.”
Since 2009, under the guidance of veteran coach Pete DiStefano, the Lady Hornets have gone 67-74 with three consecutive trips to the 4th region tournament.
Several members of the girls’ basketball team attended the ceremony Tuesday and Hurt took the chance to begin the process of getting to know his players.
“I am more intellectual in the approach to how we’re going to do things here. We’re going to teach, we’re going to learn, we’re going to use the court as a classroom,” Hurt said.
“I have no idea if we’re going to play man or zone. I have no idea if we’re going to press or not press until we get to know everyone. I want to get to know the kids, earn their trust. Then as a staff we will make some decisions about how we’re going to play.
“What I can say is we’re going to play extremely hard. We will be organized. Whether we win or lose, we will try to represent our school and our community to the best of our ability. One of the big things is we will work to control what we can control. We can’t control our talent level, but we can get better every day. We can’t control our size, but we can lift and work and run. We can’t control officials, so we’re not going to worry about them. We’re going to try and do the best we can.”
Hurt said he wants players that are scrappy and tough, an attitude he believes that will help the Lady Hornets as they go to battle every night in the 4th region.
“It is going to be highly competitive in the fourth region and that’s another reason to come here. Glasgow has a great girls’ program going with Coach (Justin) Stinson over there. Bowling Green is rocking and rolling, South Warren is building what they’re building,” Hurt relayed. “And in our own district, it will be very competitive. The challenge is to build something that can replicate itself through time. I think we can put something together that will maybe alleviate some of the valleys and some of the hills.”