— BY GREG WEBB
Weatherford girls basketball head coach Darryn Shearmire welcomed a new co-director for the 2013 version of the Roos basketball camp, last week. And in the fall of the 2013-14 school year, WHS basketball will welcome a new coach who will take the reins of the Kangaroo basketball program.
Actually hired by the Weatherford ISD several weeks ago, Brian Miller has been getting his feet wet through introductions with Weatherford coaches, faculty and administrative folks. But he had the opportunity to put back on his coaching shoes in the week-long camp, which for a second-consecutive year featured a combined camp for both girls and boys.
“I am definitely excited to be in Weatherford,” said Miller, who has been at the head of the boys’ basketball program at Bridgeport for the past three years. “I’ve been familiar with the area and the district and am happy to have this opportunity.
“All the people I’ve met here have been very welcoming and cordial. I like the direction the school is going and think it’s a real good time to be here.”
Miller takes over the Roo basketball program that has been guided for the past 11 years by Terry Ferguson, who stepped down from the position earlier this year. WISD will still enjoy the hard-working services of Ferguson, who will remain with the district as teacher and head of the Social Studies Department.
Aside from the excitement of taking on the new position at Weatherford, Miller and his wife are preparing for a new arrival to the Miller family. They are expecting their third child this week.
Shearmire, who watched Miller as a player and enjoyed his help as an assistant for two years as varsity coach of the boys at Grapevine, is convinced Weatherford made a wise decision in bringing Miller on board. Among a myriad of other compliments, Shearmire touts Miller’s passion for the game, his innovation and his methodical approach to make his players better.
“Hands down, Brian is the best assistant I have ever had,” Shearmire said of the new coach. “ I’m really looking forward to his being here. I think we will be good sounding boards for each other.”
Miller’s familiarity with the district is a determinate of his approach to make the Roos competitive in a talented, athletic league.
“We have to focus on ourselves, first and foremost,” Miller said. “Determining our strengths and getting the guys to buy in to where our advantages lie is important.
“We have to compete at a level that puts us in a position to win. In a district as athletic as this one, we have to have a mentality of over-achieving and gain confidence from that as we improve.”
Shearmire, entering his third season leading the Lady Roos and offering a peak in the postseason last year, is upbeat about the prospects of the coming season.
“One of the positives looking at this season is that we will have some size,” he said. “We’ll have also have some awesome shooters, and I’m seeing some good talent at the JV level, so we may want to bring up a couple of those girls, as well.
With the camp just concluded, Shearmire got a look at some of the incoming freshmen and had good things to say about that group, as well.
Shearmire reported a good turnout for the camp, with more than 70 kids in the morning session for the younger kids, and nearly as many for the older kids in the afternoon session.
The Lady Roos coach has enjoyed Miller’s input at the camp, with some of the innovative drills he has introduced to the campers.
“I have really enjoyed the camp this week,” Miller said. “This camp is different — much bigger — than the clinics I’ve run in the past, but when it gets down to it, it’s about teaching the kids the basics.
“It’s just great to get the kids in this environment, and to get them excited about the game.”