Webster takes over boys basketball program
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
There’s no doubt Jerome Webster knows basketball and how to coach it. But the veteran volunteer coach, selected recently to head up Escambia Academy’s boys team, knows he’s sailing into uncharted waters.
“It’s going to be a big difference,” said Webster, who was a volunteer coach at Escambia County High School for several years. “I have to adjust to the talent, the rules, just basketball in general. It’s a different level of basketball.”
Webster coached at Monroeville several years ago, then helped lead the ECHS girls to the state Final Four two years in a row — taking over during the 2013-14 season when Coach Anthony Hayes was unable to coach, then assisting Coach Orlando Courtney the next year.
Now retired from the Alabama Department of Corrections, he will coach only the boys at EA, where he expects the school’s success in other sports to filter down to the basketball squad.
“When you have a winning program, it carries on,” he said. “Escambia Academy has some good athletes, and they’ve had success in football, track, weigh-lifting. When you have the athletes to win at football, it turns over and bleeds on down to the basketball program and the other sports.”
Taking over the Cougars team will represent Webster’s first fulltime head coaching job. He explained that the new assignment will be a learning experience, for him and for his team.
“I’ll be watching a lot of film and getting the kids prepared,” he said. “It’s a whole different ballgame for me, so the coach will be asking questions of the players, and the players will be asking the coach questions.”
The new EA coach said he is chomping at the bit to get things started.
“I’m ready to start,” he said. “This will be a big opportunity for me, and I’m overwhelmed they gave me the opportunity to coach for them.”