CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Bryan England didn’t waste any time in reaching his goal at Winfield High School.
England, who had served as assistant boys basketball coach under Pat McGinnis at Winfield beginning in 2011, was approved to replace McGinnis during Monday’s Putnam County Board of Education meeting.
McGinnis turned in his resignation on March 25 after 210 victories in 13 seasons, four state tournament berths and a state championship.
“I feel like Pat McGinnis took the program to a level high school basketball here hasn’t been,” he said. “He left the program better than he found it and I want to do the same.
“He’s the one who brought me into Winfield and I owe to him me being at Winfield as a coach and I’m very grateful for that opportunity.”
England is a 27-year-old native of Asheboro, N.C., who moved to West Virginia on Aug. 11, 2006.
He earned his teaching degree at West Virginia State University in 2010, while serving as a boys basketball assistant coach (2009-10) and head coach (2010-11) at George Washington Middle School in Eleanor.
The special education teacher at Winfield High joined McGinnis’ staff in 2011.
“I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be the head coach at Winfield,” he said. “It’s not something I take for granted. I have a vision for the program that I have shared with the administration and our athletic director.”
The Winfield athletic director, Will Isaacs, had applied for the coaching position, but removed his candidacy. Coaches are not permitted to coach two sports that overlap and Isaacs wasn’t ready to give up his position as head baseball coach.
Enter England, who said he learned a lot from McGinnis during three seasons as an understudy.
“Here’s one thing I greatly appreciate about (McGinnis),” England said. “If he’s coaching Winfield High School in the NBA championship against the San Antonio Spurs, he’s going to have these kids believing they have a chance to win. No matter what game it is, he’ll make them believe.”
The Generals finished 14-11 this past season, losing to eventual Class AAA state champion Huntington in the Region 4 co-final 81-62.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at email@example.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail.