Discovery Middle introduces new football and basketball coachesPublished 11:33am Tuesday, June 17, 2014
By Nick Sellers | Staff Reporter
A new era of Discovery Middle School athletics was officially unveiled June 16 as principal Melanie Barkley named new head football and basketball coaches.
Jason Wright, previously the varsity coach at Elkmont High School in Limestone County, will take over as basketball coach for the Panthers. Discovery poached Len Lanier from Monrovia Middle School to become the next head football coach.
Barkley mentioned Lanier was one of 93 applicants for the position, and he interviewed not only with Barkley but with Bob Jones head football coach Kevin Rose also.
“Len Lanier came out well above everybody else that we interviewed,” Barkley said.
In addition to his duties on the gridiron, Lanier will teach STEM I classes at Discovery.
“I’m excited about being here, the energy here and the expectations here,” he said.
Lanier stressed that he seeks not only talented but mature individuals for his program and cited Alabama alums Julio Jones, D.J. Fluker and Robert Lester, whom he coached as Freshman at Foley High School, as examples.
Wright’s brief introduction speech consisted of praise for Bob Jones coach Graham Aderholt’s program and added that he wanted to engrain fundamentals in the middle school athletes so they have that advantage in high school.
“That’s what we’ll concentrate on everyday in practice,” Wright said.
Wright has spent the better part of his professional career in the Huntsville-Madison area, graduation from Athens Bible College in 1997 and serving on the staffs of Huntsville High School and UAH. He also said the search for an assistant coach is ongoing.
Lanier, on the other hand, introduced four of his assistants at the Monday meeting. Daniel Brown will serve as an offensive assistant and Cody Martin will also serve as an associate coach. Josh Wilbourn will help with wide receivers and corner backs, and Eddie Lett will be the de-facto defensive coordinator.
Both Barkley and Lanier implored parents to sign up as volunteers for a myriad of duties, including announcing at games and working the concession stands, among others.