sunny.png
Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 1:28PM

Basketball: Dawson County hires North Forsyth's Herrick as new boys coach

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DAWSONVILLE — North Forsyth girls basketball coach Eric Herrick had an itch he needed to scratch. 

It wasn't that awkward place on your back you can't reach without using the sharp corner of a hallway wall. It was coaching boys basketball.

For the last 14 years, the North Hall grad has been coaching girls, now, he's officially a boys basketball coach.

Herrick was approved as Dawson County High School's next boys basketball coach Tuesday night at the monthly board of education meeting.

"I'm getting to a point in my career where I'm not young anymore," Herrick said. "I think if I get to the point where I retire and I don't coach boys, it's going to be a regret. I've been coaching girls for the past 14 years – it's been an itch I need to scratch. It had to be the perfect opportunity and I just feel like Dawson is that school. I wasn't willing to sacrifice a great girls job for an average to good boys job - it had to be a great boys job. I think Dawson is that opportunity."

DCHS Athletics Director Jason Gibson said Herrick is a great addition to the program.

"We felt like he brings a level of success and experience that we wanted at Dawson County," Gibson said. "Obviously, his record over the last seven years speaks for itself. Whether you're coaching girls or guys, it still comes down to relationships and mentoring young adults. I feel like he will be a fantastic addition to our community here at Dawson."

Herrick replaces Chad Pittman, who stepped down last month after leading the Tigers to the semifinals of the Class 3A state playoffs.

Gibson said the school sought the advice of a search committee to find its next head coach.

"Essentially, our committee was looking for the best possible candidate for Dawson County," Gibson said. "We had a number of qualified applicants that applied for the position. The last couple of weeks while going through the vetting process – resumes, references and interviews – we felt like Coach Herrick obviously stood out above the rest. We feel like we're fortunate to have him coming on board."

Herrick brings 15 years of head coaching experience with stops at Glascock County (boys), White County (girls), Chattahoochee (girls) and North Forsyth (girls). 

He's spent the last eight seasons in Coal Mountain where he guided the Lady Raiders to seven playoff appearances, including two quarterfinals and two semifinals and played for seven region titles – won three. 

Last season, North Forsyth finished 26-5 and won their second straight Region 6-7A championship. The Lady Raiders also made back-to-back Class 7A semifinal appearances in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

But, despite all the success in girls basketball, Herrick had the desire to jump back into coaching boys and felt like Dawson County was the right fit.

"The community support," Herrick said. "Dawson County is a basketball school. I'm from the Gainesville-area, grew up there and Dawson has always been a basketball school. You go to the gym on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, that's the place to be. Dawson has tremendous community support and it still has a small-town feel. You want to play in front of a packed crowd where everybody is enthusiastic and that's what I saw in Dawson."

He’s taking over a program with plenty of returning and rising talent, including starters Jasper Gibson, Eli Burruss and Campbell Reed. 

"I watched them play a couple of times last year," Herrick said. "I loved watching them play last year – some very talented kids."

Herrick's style of coaching is built on relentless, stingy defense. His offense will feature the dribble-drive attack with a heavy dose of outside shooting, but his philosophy at Dawson will be developed around the talent he has in the program.

"I'm not a coach that's going to say we're going to play a certain way without knowing exactly what we have," he said. "We're going mold our philosophy around the talent and the kids that our there. At the end of the day, I'm not a real structured coach. I want kids to make plays, so we're going to let them be creative and create some stuff for us and make plays."

Herrick's biggest point of emphasis in his eight seasons at North Forsyth was an in-your-face defensive attack. It'll be the same in Dawsonville.

"If you don't guard, you ain't going to play — it's pretty simple," he said. That'll be from day one. If you don't guard or rebound, you don't play. We want kids to get out there and guard the heck out of people. We're going to play our toughest kids. We're going to be extremely physical. Hopefully, it's a fun style of basketball to watch, but I'm going to play the kids that guard, the kids that rebound and the kids that are tough."

Overall, Herrick leaves North Forsyth with a 191-47-career record, seven playoff appearances and three region titles. 

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports
  • Associated Tags: High school basketball, Dawson County boys basketball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Branch girls, Union boys advance to title game; JHS upset
Six area soccer teams and one baseball team enter today's semifinal round of the GHSA state playoffs with the hopes of advancing to the finals. So far, two area teams, Flowery Branch girls soccer and Union County boys soccer, have punched tickets to the state title game.
8:35PM ( 23 minutes ago )
SEMIFINAL BASEBALL: Pace Academy takes Game 1 against North Hall
Pace Academy exploded to beat North Hall, 9-1, in Game 1 of the best of three Class 3A semifinal series Tuesday in Atlanta.
7:43PM ( 1 hour ago )
Power and Pagenaud top 229 mph on Indy 500 opening day
Will Power and Simon Pagenaud put Team Penske atop the speed chart on the first day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 and immediately parked their Chevrolets.
7:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
Sports
Basketball: McIntyre and Arturo to play college basketball
Lakeview's Blake McIntyre and Arturo Varela will continue their basketball careers in college.
3:00PM ( 1 day ago )
Q&A: Red Elephants' Viviant discusses bitter 2018 end, Cambridge rematch
It hasn’t been THE driving factor for the Gainesville boys soccer team in 2019. But the Red Elephants’ frustrating, if not infuriating, 3-0 loss to Cambridge in last year’s Class 6A semifinals has surely been a motivating factor them...
12:15PM ( 1 day ago )
PLAYOFF SEMIFINALS: Seven area teams in soccer, baseball look for championship berths
With just one week left in the 2018-19 prep sports season, seven area teams sit just one win, or one series win, from playing for state championships...
12:03PM ( 1 day ago )
High School Sports
Basketball: Strickland steps down at Chestatee; takes post at Monroe Area
After three seasons as head coach of the War Eagles, Kevin Strickland accepted the same position at Monroe Area on Tuesday.
2:01PM ( 6 hours ago )
Basketball: Anderson comes home to take over Habersham Central program
Cody Anderson has a passion for basketball and a love for Habersham Central High School.
6:52AM ( 1 month ago )
Vining returns to take over Vikings
East Hall Athletic Director Adam Rich jumped back in time Friday hoping to rekindle the future...
3:30PM ( 1 month ago )
VIDEO: STATE CHAMPS! Watson, Coleman lead Buford boys to 5A crown
The trophy he waved triumphantly high over his head may look the same, but the expression on Marcus Watson’s face Friday night told a different story...
11:08PM ( 2 months ago )
VIDEO: STATE CHAMPS! Scrappy Lady Wolves capture 3rd straight 5A title
Buford girls basketball coach Gene Durden has said all season that his team itself was the real star. The Lady Wolves proved it Friday night, shining their brightest as a collective whole in a remarkable 67-59 win over previously-unbeaten Villa Rica to capture the Class 5A state title at the Macon Coliseum...
8:47PM ( 2 months ago )