Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

July 7, 2009

Rebels hire Ken Austin to lead basketball program

TIFTON —The Turner County Board of Education has announced the appointment of Ken Austin as its new boys head basketball coach and high school assistant principal. 

The appointment was confirmed at a called board meeting on Monday.  Austin follows Eric Holland as the Rebel mentor. Holland, who led the Rebels to three consecutive Final Four appearances and two championship games, resigned as the Rebel coach to become the head coach of the Tift County Blue Devils for the 2009-2010 school year.

Austin grew up in Milledgeville and played high school basketball at Baldwin  High School under the leadership of legendary high school coach John Lunsford. Upon graduation, he played college ball at South Carolina State University. 

He has coaching experience at both the middle school and varsity levels as an assistant and head varsity coach. He began his coaching career at Wheeler High School, under the guidance of Doug Lipscomb, whose Wheeler teams have won four state championships since 2002. 

He later returned to work at his alma mater, Baldwin County High School, as an assistant. Austin’s first head varsity position was at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta. 

Most recently, Austin was the head JV Coach and varsity assistant at Peachtree Ridge High School in Gwinnett County.

Turner County Superintendent of Schools Ray Jordan praised Austin’s professional preparation and personal philosophy of education. Jordan said, “We are excited to welcome coach Austin to the Turner County Schools’ family. He is a young man with high expectations for his student athletes and expresses a high level of commitment to his roles, both as a coach and an administrator. I believe he has the potential to continue the winning traditions established under Coach Holland’s leadership.

"During Coach Holland’s tenure, our basketball program has become established as one of Georgia’s premier Class A programs. I believe Coach Austin will be a great asset to our basketball program and provide us the opportunity to continue to compete at this high level. We look forward to continuing our recent success under his leadership.”

Austin will assume his duties as the Turner coach immediately upon returning from a planned family vacation next week.

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