Mike Ellson has resigned as girls basketball coach at Christ Presbyterian Academy, but plans to remain the school’s athletic director.
“I felt that it was fair to everyone involved to devote all of my energies toward being the athletic director at the school and that this was the best decision to go forward,” Ellson said Thursday afternoon. “I’ve already met with my girls and told them.
“The decision was 100 percent my choice. There was no pressure from anyone toward this. It was a situation which I had to juggle constantly. It was very challenging.”
Ellson has been the school’s AD for 23 years. He has doubled as girls basketball coach for the past three.
Under Ellson’s leadership, CPA’s girls went 75-28 overall and advanced to the TSSAA Class AA quarterfinals last month. They lost to eventual state champion Gibson County.
Led by seniors Anna Mitchell and Hannah Thurley, the 2009-10 team won a school record 32 games. It also won the district and region tournaments in the same season for the first time.
“We have a lot of really good, talented girls returning,” Ellson said. “What I will miss most is being with the girls, going to team camps, travel and the relationships we formed. I’ve had the honor of coaching some wonderful young women, and I will miss not being around them at practice and at games.’’
He added that he had “no idea’’ who the new coach would be. He didn’t say if the CPA would hire within the school or from outside.
Previously, Ellson won more than 200 games in 12 seasons as boys basketball coach from 1988-2000.
“This has never been about me,” he said. “It’s about being at a great school, with great people and being with the Lord.
“I won’t be coaching. But I will be right there at courtside cheering them on.”
• Jean sets school record: On Tuesday, CPA junior pitcher Michael Jean claimed his 13th career win – a school record – with a 5-3 victory over M.L. King.
He not only threw a complete-game five-hitter, he also hit the game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh.
• Doug Hall Relays: The 24th annual Doug Hall Relays will be held Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Montgomery Bell Academy track with 20 boys and 20 girls teams competing. The event is named for the late Hillwood coach who passed away in 1986.
Also, the Charlie Harper Relays, named for the veteran Brentwood Academy coach, will be held Friday, May 7 at BA.