GHS coaching exits compliment to program

Granbury Athletic Director Dwight Butler’s summer is a littler busier this year.

But he’s taking it as a compliment to the sports program he helped build.

He’s had to replace three head coaches, and now he’s looking for someone to replace one of the top assistants.

Josh Jones, who was David Breazeale’s right-hand man, has taken the job as head coach at Millsap. Jones was instrumental in helping Breazeale lead the Pirates to their first bidistrict basketball berth since 2000 this past season.

“He’s extremely knowledgeable. He has great skills. He’s a motivator,” said Butler of Jones. “He was a Pirate through-and-through while he was here. I expect good things from him at Millsap. They’re lucky to get him.”

Jones joins Mike Pinkerton, Brad Hart and Chad Kimberling as notable names to leave GHS in the past month. Pinkerton became the girls head coach at Aledo, Hart took the head baseball coaching job at Burleson Centennial, and Kimberling recently announced he is leaving to become the head softball coach at New Caney.

Pinkerton, an assistant to Leta Andrews since 2006, was also the girls head track coach at Granbury. He consistently helped players reach regionals, and his greatest success was coaching pole vaulter Madison Northcutt to three consecutive state berths from 2010-12.

Hart coached the Pirates for five seasons and led them to four postseason berths, along with their first district championship in a decade in 2009. 3). In his eight seasons as a head coach at Coahoma, Lake Worth and Granbury, he has coached into the postseason seven times.

Kimberling coached three seasons at GHS and led the Lady Pirates to their first postseason berth since 2010 this year. They tied for second in 7-4A behind state semifinalist Aledo, and were the only team in district not to get mercy ruled by the Ladycats.

Amber Ward, who has been the cross country coach for 10 seasons, and has qualified runners for regionals in each season. She will replace Pinkerton as head girls track coach, along with remaining head cross country coach.

Brad Epple takes over for Hart after serving as his assistant, and Mallory Smith goes from being Kimberling’s assistant to head coach.

“This gets me back to being a head coach, which is what I always wanted to do,” said Jones. “I loved working at Granbury, and I boo-hooed when I told the boys I was leaving, but I need to be back in the game as a head coach.”

Jones is stepping into a familiar situatiion at Millsap, a 2A school. The Bulldogs won just six games last season, similar to the Liberty team that had won just a half dozen games before Jones took over in 2008 and led them 16 wins and their first playoff berth in a decade. Then, for family reasons, he came to Granbury as an assistant.

“Fortunately, we are replacing good coaches with others I believe will also have success,” said Butler. “ I have confidence these programs are still in good hands.”

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