Tuesday June 6th, 2023 11:13PM

Basketball: Lakeview names Benjie Wood boys coach; Huffman takes over girls

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Many thought it would be his last head coaching job when Benjie Wood went to his alma mater Buford. 

In the words of the great Lee Corso, "not-so-fast, my friend." 

Wood, a 1990 graduate of Buford, has reached a deal with Lakeview Academy to take over as head boys basketball coach, according to a press release fro the private school. 

The news comes two weeks after Lakeview relieved Tyler Sanders as head coach after three seasons on the job. The school also named Ken Huffman head girls basketball coach, replacing John Carrick, who stepped down last year. 

Huffman was an assistant coach for the Lakeview girls and helped lead this year’s team to the GIAA final four. Huffman's experience includes being a director with both Boys and Girls Club of Lanier and Hall County from 2006-2018. He earned the Boys and Girls Club of America Advanced Leadership certificate in 2008 and 2013.

“We are pleased that Coach Wood and Coach Huffman will be stepping into these head coaching roles at Lakeview, and we are confident they will continue to grow our already successful basketball programs,” head of school John Simpson said in a release.

In his first season at Buford (2021-22), Wood led the Wolves to a 25-7 record, a Region 8-6A runner-up finish, and a Class 6A state title game appearance. Last season, the Wolves finished 20-7 in their first season in Class 7A, won the Region 8-7A championship, and were eliminated by Berkmar in the first round of the Class 7A tournament. 

Wood, however, is no stranger to Hall County and has been successful at every stop, having posted an overall record of 493-197 in his 29-year head coaching career. His career includes leading the Gainesville boys to the Class 6A state title game, two state semifinals appearances with the Johnson girls (2005-06), two state semifinals with the North Hall boys (2010 and 2013), and a Class 6A state title game appearance with Buford. 

Before taking the Buford job, Wood built Cherokee Bluff from scratch while leading them to a 49-35 record, a Region 7-3A runner-up regular-season finish in 2020-21, and back-to-back Class 3A second-round tournament appearances. 

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