David May moved to Georgia with his family in 2012 to escape the cold climate of his native Ohio. He came to Forsyth County to get his family into a good community with a strong school system. In the process, he took a West Forsyth girls’ basketball program with little tradition of success and coached them to their best seasons in school history.
Now, May is set to become the head girls’ basketball coach at Collins Hill, a program that’s eager to build on its rich history of success that’s recently been elusive. The veteran coach announced the news to Lady Wolverines players and met with his new ones Thursday, as first reported by the Gwinnett Daily Post. He’ll replace Cedric King, who led the Lady Eagles to an 11-15 record this past season.
“It’s probably the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” May said, “just because the kids here at West are great kids who’ve done a good job for us, who have worked hard, and the administration here at West is a really good administration that’s done everything that we’ve asked them to do to help us build a program here.”
Arguably, the epicenter of girls’ basketball in Georgia is in Gwinnett, where county teams have won 25 state titles since 2001, and Collins Hill was once the main attraction. The program won its first state title in 2001 and won it again the next season.
In 2003, Maya Moore, now the face of women’s basketball in the country, arrived. Her superstardom helped the Lady Eagles win three straight state championships starting in 2005. Moore graduated in 2007 after one more state title, and Collins Hill hasn’t been back to the state playoffs since.
“I think it’s a community that is hungry for basketball,” May said.
May sees reason for optimism at the Suwanee school. The Lady Eagles lose just one upperclassman to graduation, and May said he’s heard good reviews on the returning talent.
“I think there’s potential to be a very, very good basketball team,” May said.
Collins Hill will surely hope May can make the kind of impact he did at West. The Lady Wolverines went 47-34 with two state playoff appearances in his three seasons as head coach. Each year was better than the last, as West went from 9-17 to 17-11 to 21-6 this past season.
May said West is well-positioned to continue its success. Indeed, the Lady Wolverines return a bevy of talent, led by juniors Jenna Staiti, Abby Quincy and Jane Ortlip, that knows what it takes to win.
“There’s a great group of girls here,” May said. “There’s a great group of girls coming back. You just hope that they get the idea of what it takes to be successful on the court, and I think they have. They understand that totally. They’re going to do a really good job for whoever comes in here and takes over this program.”