Terrance Vinson was introduced Friday afternoon as the new head boys basketball coach at Pinecrest Academy.
Vinson replaces Jay Lynch, who stepped down after going 44-61 in four seasons in charge of the Paladins.
Vinson will be a familiar face, though. He was a varsity assistant and head junior varsity coach under Lynch this past season, his first at the school, as Pinecrest went 11-16 overall and 2-10 in Region 6-A.
So Vinson knows what he’s getting into, and he likes what he sees.
“I got a first-hand view of what Pinecrest presented from a school standpoint,” Vinson said. “I think the school has major potential to develop a great basketball brand.”
Vinson joined Lynch’s staff at Pinecrest after stints at Louisiana Tech, Mercer and Georgia Southern working in the strength and conditioning programs. In high school, he was a region player of the year and all-state selection at Lowndes High School in Valdosta and went on to play at Virginia Tech under former coach and current ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg.
Pinecrest athletic director Chris Kane said Vinson lacked head coaching experience at the high school level compared to the school’s other finalists, but Vinson had other factors going in his favor, particularly his familiarity with the school and basketball program, and his experience in strength and conditioning, a crucial point for a Class A program that relies on multi-sport athletes.
“Were there more experienced coaches? Yes,” Kane said. “But at the end of the day, I think Terrance [is] the right choice for Pinecrest. He’s here already. He knows what Pinecrest is about. He believes what Pinecrest is and is trying to do. … There’s a great future with boys basketball.”
Aside from whatever strategic changes Vinson plans – his biggest emphasis, he said, will be on defense - he said he hopes to instill accountability and an attention to detail in the Paladins’ program.
“A lot of times,” Vinson said, “we were in the game and we’d make a couple mental mistakes that were avoidable. That’s the difference between us winning five games and losing five games.”