The Pineville Lady Mountain Lions have a new head basketball coach. Jamie Mills, who served as an assistant to PHS boys’ coach J.D. Strange and coached the Pineville Midddle School boys last season, was chosen for the job on Tuesday.
Mills met with members of the team Tuesday and said he is “looking forward to coaching this group of girls who are not only athletic, but also intelligent and have a strong work ethic.”
The Lady Lions went through a bit of turmoil last season as Matt Shafer, their coach since 2010, resigned one game in to attend to a family matter. PHS athletic director Brenda Gambrel took over on an interim basis and the team finished 10-16.
The Lady Lions reached the 13th Region All “A” championship game where they played eventual champ and 13th Region runner-up Harlan to the buzzer in a 68-66 loss. But they closed the season with eight straight losses, including a 91-62 setback to Barbourville in the first round of the 51st District Tournament.
Pineville will graduate just one senior from last year’s team, forward Devin Enix. So, Mills should have an experience group to work with in his first season.
PHS principal Bill Keyes said there was a high-quality pool of applicants for the position.
“The committee reviewed the applications and, based on his proven work ethic, dedication to our students and experience in coaching, determined that coach Mills is the best person to lead the Lady Lions,” Bill Keyes said. “I do want to thank coach Brenda Gambrel for the great job she did while serving as the interim coach. She stepped in when we needed someone and she will continue to serve as our athletic director.”
Mills, who is the FRYSC director for the Pineville School District, said he plans to have an up-tempo style of play.
“I’m a firm believer in defense and will play a fast-paced style of basketball that is fun for both the players and the spectators,” he said. “This particular group is an especially good fit for this style of ball because we have a lot of depth and everyone will get to play.”