House finds new home at Cedar Shoals
By Greg Sullivan
As one school year ends thoughts then turn to the next one. Students and teachers move on and changes are made, accordingly.
One era at Morgan County Middle School, a particularly bright one, represents another such change. Coming to a close is the Coach Mike House era of Lady Pups basketball, with House having enjoyed one of the more dominant tenures in recent Morgan County memory.
After two undefeated seasons, two conference tournament championships and big win after big win in his two years, House opted to pursue what had been his goal for some time—high school head coaching. He found his opportunity at Cedar Shoals High School, just down the road from his home in Athens, where he will be girls head basketball coach next season.
"I'm excited. I've already met with the girls," House said of his new team, the Class AAAA Lady Jaguars. "They're truly behind the basketball program just as they are here in Morgan County."
"I anticipate on bringing in the same type of style. Going 31-0 and having that success here…There's an old saying that goes you don't fix what's not broken."
The hard part, House said, is having to leave so many of his former players behind.
"I'm going to miss the 23 girls I was able to coach," House said. "They did well on and off the court and gave me everything they had for two years."
House also praised others within the school and community whom he said helped to make his Lady Pups teams so successful.
"I'd like to thank all our basketball supporters, administrators, family members and everyone here at Morgan County...and all the community members who so actively supported us."
A big key, he said, was support for his team from Morgan County Middle School Principal Joe Hutcheson and Athletic Director Julie Jameson.
Still, it's a sense of loyalty to his former players that comes across most when talking with House. That loyalty, he insists, was earned through some very hard work and dedication.
"The biggest thing I'm going to miss are the memories…the practices, the journey and day to day interaction with the girls," House said. "All the girls remained academically eligible for two years and we won with defense."
House said he hopes his new team will follow the same model.
"We're going to go with the same mentality. I'll lead the way with defense and put a major emphasis on academics," he said of his upcoming first season at Cedar Shoals.
The goal, he said, is to produce well-rounded student athletes who will move on to the collegiate level.
Aside from coaching basketball at Morgan County, House also taught physical education and spent time coaching other sports. He was the boys soccer coach this season and the boys track coach in 2007.
That time in Morgan County, too, House said was time he got the most out of; adding further reason he said he will miss making the drive down to Madison everyday.
"I'll miss working with all students at the health and P.E. level," said House. "And the caring environment and the caring community here."