The A.C. Flora Falcons boys basketball program is aimed at reaching the Class 3A championship for a second year in a row, this time under new coach Joshua Staley.
Staley, who led the Orangeburg-Wilkinson girls’ team to the state finals in each of the past three seasons, has been tabbed to replace Leon Brunson for the 2014-15 season. Brunson was the Falcons coach for four seasons, and guided the squad to the state title in March. He resigned in June to accept an administrative position.
“The timing for us was not what we wanted, but I really believe that timing always happens for a reason, and I think that reason was for us to get Josh Staley,” Flora athletics director Charlie Wentzky said.
“We’re extremely grateful that he was willing to leave a situation where he had the opportunity to, maybe, win a championship next year, to, hopefully, help us win another.”
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Staley won five region titles in eight seasons with the Bruins. He began his career coaching boys basketball at Elloree in 2013.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for me, to put our family in a good position,” said Staley, whose career record is 180-74.
There are many upsides to having Staley at the helm for the Falcons, Wentzky said.
“The biggest thing is that he has a tradition of success where’s he been. And, everybody you talk to talks about how hard he works,” Wentzky said.
The Falcons are hoping that adding Staley’s work ethic and basketball smarts to the foundation Brunson has laid will “keep us heading in the right direction,” Wentzky said.
They seem to be on the path, as Staley met with players Monday, and has set up plans for offseason work.
“Through my work ethic I’m able to establish really strong relationships with the kids, and once they know that you are for them, they really will do anything you ask of them,” he said.
“I look forward to working hard with these kids, to help them chase their dreams.”