Sometimes, when the right opportunity presents itself, you just have to reach out and grab it. And that’s exactly what John Tinsley has done.
Tinsley, the head boys’ basketball coach at Glasgow High School, confirmed Monday that he has accepted the boys’ basketball position at Russell County High School in Russell Springs.
“I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is not a school in the region or a school in the state that I would have any interest in. That was my mentality on that,” Tinsley said.
“But Russell County is probably the only school in the region, because of (former RCHS coach) Willie Feldhaus and because of what I know about Russell County, that would make me set up and take notice. It just was one of those situations, to me, it was a tough situation to say ‘No’ to.”
Tinsley leaves Glasgow after two seasons with a 27-24 overall record. Last year, he guided the Scotties to the All ‘A’ regional title and a spot in the All ‘A’ State Tournament.
“I think Glasgow, with the young kids they have, they’re in a great position. They’ve got some great young kids coming up. We’ve done it the right way (here) and we’ve got some great coaches,” Tinsley explained. “I thought we had the pieces in place to build something special. And without pieces like that in the puzzle, it is impossible for a head coach to be successful.
“And that’s the tough part of leaving. We did have everything in place. With the kids and everything else, that’s the part you have to pray about.
“Those kind of decisions are gut-wrenching. Glasgow has been very good to us. Glasgow has been very good to our family. My boys graduated from there. (However, the Russell County job) this is just one of those situations, at my age, I just couldn’t pass up.”
“We’re very fortunate at Russell County to get a coach with the experience and the record of success of a John Tinsley,” Feldhaus said Monday night.
Tinsley takes over a program at Russell County that went 106-39 over the last five years, reaching the regional tournament each season. The Lakers lost in the regional final in 2013.
“The thing about Willie’s program, and there is no question about it, they’ve done things the right way. Willie’s just a class act,” Tinsley relayed. “And a lot of people would say ‘I wouldn’t want to follow a great coach like that.’ I look at the flip side of that. I want to follow somebody where I don’t have to fix a lot of stuff. He’s done it well and I just want keep the train going down the tracks.”
Tinsley added that Russell County lost four of its top six players from last season, but the numbers at his first meeting with the team were good.
Keith Hale, the principal at Glasgow High School, commented on Tinsley in a text Monday night, “(We) appreciate what he has done for us and we wish him well.” Hale continued that the position has been posted and that it is a “priority.” “We are committed,” he said in the text, “to making the best decision for our kids.”
Tinsley has begun summer basketball with the Lakers and said he will be in Las Vegas June 10-18 to coach in the NBA Summer League with the Miami Heat.