The search for a new head boys basketball coach at Athens High School didn’t take long.

First-year assistant coach Kenneth Mangrum has been promoted to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of third-year head coach Kelly Parrish. Parrish resigned last week to become head boys basketball coach at Grace Community in Tyler.

“We’re very excited to have someone of Kenneth’s caliber on staff to lead our boys program,” AHS athletic director Dan Hamrick said in making the announcement Tuesday morning. “I believe anytime you have good people on your staff and can promote from within it’s good for the program.

“He’s done a great job in the time he’s been here and I believe he’s a good fit for both our program and the community.”

Mangrum is a 2002 graduate of the University of North Texas, where he was a four-year starter on the basketball team. Upon graduation, the 1998 graduate of Waco University High School served as a graduate assistant coach at UNT for three years.

He had a stellar high school career at UHS, having twice been named all-state and graduated as the all-time leading scorer in school history. Mangrum was also the Central Texas Player of the Year as a senior and was named the Waco ISD Athlete of the Year. He was also a state qualifier in track.

Mangrum was a McDonald’s All-American nominee and played in both the TABC and THSCA all-star basketball games following his senior season.

“Kenneth’s a hot coaching prospect and we’re excited he’s staying with us,” Hamrick said. “I know there are others who were interested in having him on their staff.”

Mangrum said he was looking forward to the 2006-07 season.

“With the drop to Class 3A and all five starters returning, I have high expectations for next year’s team,” Mangrum said. “My goal for the team is to make it and advance in the playoffs.”

“Everyone I talked to about him had nothing but good things to say about him as a coach and as a person,” Hamrick said. “He came highly recommended when we hired him to assist Coach Parrish.”

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