Pepperell coach Jeff Rickman

 

The spot left open by one coach moving up is being filled by another who has fit it quite comfortably before.

Jeff Rickman, who has lived in Lindale his entire life and been a mainstay in the Pepperell athletic department, is the new head girls’ basketball coach for the high school’s varsity team, Floyd County Schools announced Friday. The move comes after head coach Judson Cox was confirmed by the school board as assistant principal of Coosa High School beginning in the fall.

“I have a lot of love in my heart for the game of basketball,” Rickman said. “When the opportunity arose, I talked with my family and really jumped at the chance.”

This will be the second go-round for Rickman on the bench for the Lady Dragons as he served as head coach for the program from 2000-2011. In the mean time he has continued to serve as the school’s varsity softball coach.

“We’ve been out of it for six years, just waiting for right chance, the right opportunity to come along,” Rickman said. “I’m a Pepperell guy. I graduated from there. My kids went there. We’re excited.”

Rickman led the Lady Dragons to a region championship in 2010 and was named region Coach of the Year and Rome News-Tribune Co-Coach of the Year for the season as well. Pepperell’s girls’ team returned as a region finalist the following season. He stepped down as basketball coach after the 2011 season, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family.

“Coach Rickman has had tremendous success as a coach at Pepperell High School and a great deal of that success was leading the Lady Dragons basketball team,” Pepperell Principal Jamey Alcorn said in a release. “We are blessed to have such a talented and dedicated individual on staff to step up and lead the program once again.”

Sports editor Jeremy Stewart contributed to this report.