Westwood girls’ basketball coach Derrick Harris was named the GISA Class AA girls’ basketball coach of the year Tuesday night during a GISA meeting in Jekyll Island. Harris had been named the Region 3-AA coach of the year and the Albany Herald girls’ basketball coach of the year after his Lady Cats won the GISA state championship for the second year in a row.
“First of all, I want to thank God for allowing me to be here,” Harris said. “This is a great honor and I am very excited about it. I am proud to represent Westwood and proud to have brought this home.” He said he was grateful for all the support he has received and looked forward to going after those awards again.
The Westwood Lady Cats finished the season 28-3 this past season and beat arch rival Terrell Academy 61-43 for the state championship at Georgia Southwestern in Americus.
Harris may earn that coach of the year award again next year if his team is able to repeat. Five seniors from the championship team have graduated and only point guard Brianna Thompson returns as a starter. Harris is not worried though.
“We are going to do more of a ‘reload’ instead of rebuild type of thing,” Harris said. “We have some key players coming back that got quality minutes last year and I will be counting heavily on my freshman class coming in and stepping up.”
The Lady Cats have had a busy summer with workouts and camps in June, Harris said, and will be working out some more before school begins. He said some of the players will be concentrating on softball but those who are not will be involved in some extra workouts.
“My goal is to cut down those nets again and win this award again,” Harris said. “That is what we will be working toward.”