After searching for approximately six weeks, Rhea County High School has found a new Lady Eagle head basketball coach.
Rhea County Director of Schools Jerry Levengood confirmed to The Herald-News on Thursday that Tracy Kenneth Vest was officially hired Wednesday afternoon.
RCHS Athletic Director Jeremy Fitzgerald said Vest was on campus Thursday to meet with the team and begin building a relationship with the Lady Eagles.
Vest replaces Darvin Gill who stepped down from his position on Feb. 28 after a three-year tenure where he guide Rhea County to a 57-32 record which including two straight Region 3-AAA tournament appearances. In 2018, Gill was named District 6-AAA coach of the year.
The new Lady Eagle coach takes over a talented squad that is set to return its entire roster next winter including back-to-back District 6-AAA player of the year and Samford commit Mallory Hampton.
Tracy Vest comes to Evensville from North Sand Mountain High School in Higdonm Ala. He has a career record of 401-224 and is a six-time Jackson County coach of the year. Vest has been at North Sand Mountain since 1994. He served as the girl’s coach from 1994-2003 before taking the boy’s head coach job from 2003-2012. He returned to the Lady Bison sideline in 2012 where he was until this past season.
Among the accolades on his resume includes eight trips to substate, eight sweet 16 appearances, two elite eight appearances, two final four appearances and one State runner-up.
“Through our conversations with Coach Vest and others that know him around Alabama we saw that he’s a man of high integrity and is committed to developing student-athletes of high character both on the court and in the classroom, “ Levengood said.
“Tracy appears to be very good at communicating and building positive relationships with players, parents and the entire community. We are very excited to have him on board and look forward to the upcoming 2019-2020 basketball season,” he added.
Vest is married to his wife of 23 years, Amy Spears. They have two children, Hannah (21) and Hunter (17).
Stay tuned to an upcoming edition of The Herald-News on this developing story including comments from Fitzgerald as well as coach Vest himself and his plans for the program moving forward.