Written by: Shane Thomas
Two years removed from leading the VSU Lady Blazers to the Sweet Sixteen, Brittany Ferguson will be patrolling the sidelines as the new head coach of the Lowndes High School girls’ basketball team.
On May 14, Ferguson was introduced as the new leader of the Lowndes High girls’ basketball program, replacing longtime Lady Vikettes coach Shan Garner.
With an entire summer to get acclimated to her new surroundings, Ferguson is confident that she is ready to take over the helm.
“It’s exciting,” Ferguson said smiling. “I’m not going to lie, it’s a little scary. There’s a first time for everything, but I’m super excited. We’ve got a great group of kids. We’re young, but I wouldn’t have it any other way right now.”
Garner compiled an impressive 186-56 record in nine seasons, including four region titles. Filling those shoes will be a challenge, but Ferguson isn’t concerned with filling shoes but breaking in a pair of her own instead.
“If you come into a situation trying to compare yourself to another coach, you’re always going to fail,” Ferguson said. “You have to come and try to set your own standards, create your own program and allow it to go from there”.
“Ferg and I spoke at length as she was going through the interviewing process,” Kiley Hill, VSU Lady Blazers head coach, said. “She understands the rich girls’ basketball history at Lowndes High but knows she has to be who Brittany Ferguson is, not someone else.”
After spending the 2012-13 season as a graduate assistant under Hill, the former All-American explains that the process of morphing from player to coach has been eye opening.
“I think the quick transition is going to help me and hurt me,” Ferguson said. “I’m fresh off the court. I can relate very well to players – I know exactly what they’re thinking and what they’re going through every minute of the game.”
“The biggest difference is you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes,” Ferguson said. “As a player, you show up, put your jersey on and go play. You don’t think about where the water is, where the towels are, who are the referees assigned, etc. It’s a learning curve, but we’re getting there.”
Ferguson admits her first season will be about rebuilding but also sees an opportunity for growth and establishing her identity as a coach.
“We’re young,” Ferguson said. “We have about nine sophomores. I’m not chopping it up. I think we have a good chance (to be good). It’s about learning – finding out what works for me and what works for this group of girls.”