Categorized | Sports

Championship Coach returns to area to lead Cardinal Basketball

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

After compiling 207 wins with the Lady Trojans and Lady Jaguars, Stan Gatlin takes over the Brighton Boys team.

After compiling 207 wins with the Lady Trojans and Lady Jaguars, Stan Gatlin takes over the Brighton Boys team.

Gatlin Millington

Building a winning program takes dedication and a little something extra.
Veteran basketball coach Stan Gatlin has watched thousands of hours of film, called college programs to net scholarships for players and even participates in AAU basketball during the summer. After departing from the Millington Lady Trojans as the second winningest coach in the program’s history, Gatlin took on the challenge of establishing the Southwind Lady Jaguars.
Turning them into a winning program and taking the 2011 Dragon Fire Tournament, every morning Gatlin displayed his dedication to that program leaving his Tipton County house.
Last week Gatlin got news his commute to work would be shorter when he was named the new boys basketball coach at Brighton High School.
“I’m excited the opportunity presented itself, and I’m looking forward to doing great things here,” he said. “I’m 6 minutes down the road vs. 45 minute to an hour drive. I’m home here definitely.”
For six years Gatlin established his roots in the Millington and South Tipton areas as an educator, coach and father. While his children attending Tipton County Schools and his wife working in the system, Gatlin was busy winning 147 games at Millington and reaching the 2008 Class 3A State Tournament championship game.
With a vast majority of his seniors signing college scholarships, some of the notables were Division I signings of LaTesa McLaughlin, Olivia Maddox, Ashley Robinson and Jasmine Newsome.
Gatlin added to his win and college signee totals at Southwind. Now with a prep record of 207-86, the Mississippi native is ready to lead the Brighton Cardinals.
“Hopefully we’ll bring the attitude of winning, the attitude of success being a team thing,” Gatlin said. “As I was telling the kids the old African proverbs, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ Hopefully we can build this thing together brick by brick.”
Although Gatlin knows he has a rebuilding project ahead of him, his past stops have yielded quick turnarounds. In 2005, Gatlin took a losing Lady Trojan program that finished last to the Regional Semifinals. His first year at Southwind was the best in the school’s history.
“However I am not a gradualist,” he said. “I don’t do things gradually. I believe in winning right now. In order for us to do that, we have to put the stuff in starting right here today.  I won’t settle for losing. I won’t settle for not giving my best.”
Some of the best girls’ basketball the past decade has be influenced by Gatlin. Proven on that level, now Gatlin is ready to transpose his style and system to the boys’ ranks.
“I’ve coached AAU basketball for a couple of years now since 2010 with the boys,” Gatlin noted. “I understand guys typically play above the rim. That does mean I have to make some changes to my system. And I’ve already done that with my AAU teams, what will work and what won’t work.”
With his summer schedule in hand and going through his evaluation phase with the players, Gatlin said he is eager to build a winner at Brighton. But the veteran coach said it’s going to take faith from all involved.
“First thing is let them know that I do believe in them despite what their record was last year,” he concluded. “I will put them in the right places within my system and let them shine.”

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