Hines introduced as new Rebels girls basketball coach

Published 9:33 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2019

LaFAYETTE — Two years ago, Jeff Hines was doing yard work in front of his Tallapoosa County home, fresh off of retiring from being the boys head basketball coach at Benjamin Russell. On Wednesday night, he was introduced as the new Chambers Academy girls head basketball coach.

“I think deep down in my heart I thought, ‘I’m going to surface again somewhere, if it’s the right job at the right place, working with the right people,’” Hines said. “Chambers Academy checked all of the boxes for me. It’s the right job, right place and [I’m] obviously working with the right people in Coach [David] Owen and Coach [Jason] Allen.”

In his introductory meeting on Wednesday night, Hines told the returning Rebels that he was going to bring an aggressive, fast-paced atmosphere to the team. He said that the team was going to press defensively and play full-court-man-to-man.

“We’re going to shoot,” he said in the meeting. “We’re going to get it down the floor, we’re going to have a fast break in place, we’re going to have some sets and plays, and we’re going to get shots up. We’re going to rebound, but the most important thing that we’re going to do is defend.”

Hines later said that he wanted the players to have fun, and he warned the players that he liked to joke around, pulling the occasional prank.

After former head coach Brandi Fuller decided to step down from coaching to focus solely on teaching last week, Hines said that he was ready to hit the ground running with his new team as fast as possible on Wednesday night. The Rebels have a practice scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CDT. on Thursday morning.

Prior to being named the new girls basketball coach, Hines was recently hired at Chambers Academy to become a sixth-grade math teacher.

“Common knowledge tells us that when we have an itch, we scratch it,” Hines said. “I’ve had the itch to get back in it. When you get into education, it’s a calling. You never get that out of your blood. I’ve been retired two years and I’ve enjoyed that, but now is the time for me to get back in and mentor to a different group of young people, male and female. I’m excited.”

Hines began coaching in 1993 at Prattville High School where he was an assistant. During his time at Prattville, the varsity team advanced to the AHSAA’s final four for the first time in school history. He would go on to coach at Dadeville High School, Wallace State Community College and Holtville High School before spending 2010-17 at Benjamin Russell High School. He has over 200 career victories to his name.

“We are thrilled to have Coach Jeff Hines join our teaching staff and our coaching staff here at Chambers Academy,” headmaster David Owen said. “He’s had a long successful career in the Alabama High School Athletic Association, several stops at the high school and collegiate level, and we’re thrilled to have him join the team here at C.A.”

In the 2018-19 season, Chambers Academy made the state quarterfinals, led by returner Britten Stephens and new-graduate Tate Reese. Stephens averaged 11.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals per night as a sophomore.

“[We want to win a] state championship,” Hines said. “You’ve got a group that made it to the quarterfinals. They lost a post player and a perimeter player, but for the most part, everyone else is intact and back. They lost by 12 in the quarterfinal after leading by four. That may have been one of those games where it wasn’t their day, but we know we have a group of girls that can get to the elite eight. I don’t think there’s any question that the ultimate goal is to reach that state championship game.”

The Rebels will get a sneak preview of the new team led by Hines on June 19 for a play date at Lee Scott.