Director of Schools Glenda Dykes has named Louie Ladd to be the next head coach of the Grundy County Lady Yellow Jacket basketball team.
Dykes said Monday, “After careful research of all the candidates for the Lady Jacket basketball coach, Louie Ladd gives us the best chance at this time to go in the direction needed.”
Ladd was one of five candidates that interviewed before the athletic committee a couple of weeks ago.
“His overall knowledge of our program and his passion for Grundy County athletics seemed to distance himself from the field of candidates,” Dykes added.
Ladd is a 1965 graduate of Grundy County High School and was a stellar athlete on the football field and on the basketball court. He also played baseball in the Mountain Valley Men’s Baseball League in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a fixture in men’s softball for years on the mountain with Monteagle. He has coached in the Big 8, as well as officiated in the league. On the high school level he coached softball, in its early years of existence, in the early 1990s, while also helping with the golf team in the past 10 years.
“I want to get to work with these young ladies on the fundamentals. I have some drills that will help them get in shape as well as become fundamentally sound. I am old school and I believe that you have to work the ball inside to have success hitting from outside. I want to be able to field a junior varsity team and I want to work with the elementary coaches on developing our young players, so they can become future Lady Jackets,” Ladd said of his new position.
In the last 12 years, the Lady Jackets have had six different head coaches. The most successful year was 2012 when the team reached the sectionals and lost to McMinn Central. The Lady Jacket basketball program has struggled to return to the consistency it once had as one of the top programs in the southeast.
Prior to the past 12 years, the Lady Jackets were led by Grundy County Sports Hall of Fame member Ricky Richards. He coached for 25 years, and he led the 1998 Lady Jacket team to the only state championship in any sport in the school’s history.
Ladd, who is also a member of the Grundy County Sports Hall of Fame, brings a strong competitive nature to the team. He has proven over the years to be a winner. He brings a positive attitude that he can use to motivate these young ladies to perform to their best ability at the game of basketball.
The athletic committee named stability, high character, and a winning attitude as goals they would like to see reached.
I believe Ladd has what it takes to give these young ladies the opportunity to reach and achieve these goals. It can’t be done by one person. There needs to be a unified effort from the elementary schools and the community to help these young ladies have success.