HENDERSONVILLE - Second-year Hendersonville girls basketball coach John Filson will step down at the end of the season.
Filson, who took over after two seasons as an assistant, informed administration of his plans to step down last week. He is currently 16-28 overall as head coach and 2-16 in District 9-AAA play.
“I came back from the Christmas holiday and had a conversation with administration after meeting with my family on a couple of occasions,” he said. “I made the final decision last week.”
Coach Filson took over the Lady Commandos program after former head coach Andrew Johnson was let go in January 2018.
“John stepped into a difficult situation,” Hendersonville Principal Bob Cotter said. “John brought the program back to a level where girls wanted to come back and be part of Lady Commando basketball again. There were a lot of alumni who embraced John. He has done a lot of good for the program, improving the facilities, and serving as a good, solid part of our community.”
Filson’s decision to step down was not easy, but he believes this choice is best for the program.
“It really boils down to this group of girls having the opportunity starting next year with their level of talent and the balance of power shifting in the district that they can take the next step forward,” he said. “I felt like based on the opportunity, and (the) best way to take advantage of that opportunity, it would be in everyone’s best interest if they had a different coach - a fresh message and a fresh approach. I want these girls to have that opportunity. I think the best chance they have to do that is to bring someone else in. I don’t feel like I did a good job of motivating them.”
When Filson got the job, he said if he didn’t feel like he was doing well enough, he would step aside and let someone else take the reins. Filson said his meetings with Principal Cotter Athletic Director Dr. Ron Sarver were positive.
“They were so appreciative of everything we have done,” Filson added. “We went through a rough patch, and I’m proud of the fact that we were able to upgrade facilities and help get our financial status back to being great. We’ve started a youth league to help feed our program for years to come. I’m very thankful to be involved with this community over the last several years.”
Filson hopes to continue teaching economics at HHS and said he has no immediate plans of coaching elsewhere next season.
“I’ve spent so many hours on the court these last several years, I might take a little time off and spend time with my family,” he said.
Even with family time on his mind, Filson didn’t knock the idea of eventually returning to the sidelines.
“I don’t know if I am done,” he said. “I’m a school guy so whatever needs to be done around the school, I am open to doing that.”
Hendersonville will post the job application in March, but Cotter says interest for the position could come in sooner than later.
Cotter said that they don’t necessarily need to hire a coach who is already in the building, but they are looking for someone who can fit into the culture at HHS.
“What is important in looking at a hire is that people understand the culture here at HHS,” he said. “They understand the culture and they are a good fit in the school.
“We’d like to have someone in place before the end of the school year,” Cotter continued on his timeline of a new hire. “We want them to go into the summer prepared to take their team to whichever camps they want and build their program the way they want to build it.”
Hendersonville (6-10, 0-4) will take on Gallatin Friday night in the school’s Coming Home event. The girls tipoff is set for 6 p.m.