Sports & Outdoors

Chad Spencer takes over as MCHS girls basketball coach

New varsity Raiderette basketball coach Chad Spencer met with parents on Tuesday and will start spring practice on Monday. (Lynchburg Times Photo)

It’s Tuesday afternoon, and new MCHS Raiderettes Head Basketball Coach Chad Spencer is giving a handful of players’ parents a pep talk. He’s got high expectations for the upcoming season and he wants their buy in.

“Playing time will be earned not given,” he explains to the parents. “I don’t pull kids for making a mistake if the effort is there. I like being the underdog. I like three point shots but I love layups.”

Deep roots in middle Tennessee girls basketball

Moore County High School Athletic Director Josh Deal announced the Spencer hire on May 5. Athletic Director Deal, MCHS Principal Brad Sanders, and Assistant Principal Brooke Lindsey chose Coach Spencer from a field of nearly 15 applicants that they narrowed down to seven interviews.

“Coach Spencer has a long history of coaching in quality programs and putting a well developed and prepared team on the floor,” Coach Deal said.

Coach Spencer began his basketball coaching career under legendary Middle Tennessee coach Rick Insell. The TSSAA Hall of Fame Coach led Shelbyville Central for 28 seasons — winning 10 state championships and five state runner up titles. Coach Spencer also coached at Harris Middle School and Liberty Middle School before getting this first high school head coaching position at Cascade in 2007, where he coached for seven seasons. Recently, he worked at Ole Miss under Lady Rebel Head Coach Mark Insell, where he handled scouting and film breakdowns.

Coach Spencer is a native of Bedford County who graduated from Shelbyville Central High School in 1991 and then attended Motlow College and MTSU. He’s married to Scarlet Spencer, also of Bedford County.

Already familiar with the Raiderettes tradition

Coach Spencer says he’s gotten to watch outstanding girls basketball players his whole life from his days helping Coach Insell with a nationally ranked high school team to SEC women’s basketball players headed to the WNBA and Moore County’s tradition ranks right up there.

“Clark Range, Jackson County, and Moore County … those are the names that everyone associates with greatness in Class A girls basketball in this state,” Coach Spencer told parents on Tuesday.

Coach Spencer says as an AAU coach and summer camps coach, he’s coached (and coached against) many Moore County greats throughout the years like Abby Fanning, Sarah Raby, and Rachel Garland. He also says he loved watching Moore County great Janet Holt play in the post so much that he traveled to Tennessee Tech to watch her play in the late nineties. So, he knows what players from this county can do.

“At Cascade, we always circled the Moore County game on the schedule,” Coach Spencer said. “This is the opportunity I was waiting on. When it came back open, I couldn’t pass it up.”

First year goals for his new position

Coach Spencer says he’s not afraid to set a high bar for his 2021-22 team. Moore County graduated only one senior this past year and will return a squad of players with staring experience.

“I want us to contend for a district title, a region title, and make it to Murfreesboro,” he says. “But it’s not just about meeting goals. It’s about setting daily standards for ourselves. If we meet those standards, our goals will take care of themselves.”

When we asked him if there are any games he’s already got circled on next year’s schedule, he jokingly replies, “all of them.”

“I take it one game at a time,” he says. “We’re gonna take it one game at a time, one practice at a time … it’s a basketball not a crystal ball and there’s a little bit of luck involved in there too.”

Coach Spencer will start spring practice with his players on Monday and the team will attend camps at Coffee County, MTSU, and Eagleville this summer. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only daily newspaper in Lynchburg. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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