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Wilson leaves BHS for Warren Central

Looking for a new challenge and a change of scenery, Brookhavenvarsity boys basketball coach Preston Wilson has resigned to accepta similar position at Warren Central High School in Vicksburg.Wilson was approved Tuesday at a meeting of the Warren CountySchool Board.

Wilson, 33, spent seven years at Brookhaven, six as head coach.A fiery, energetic coach, he elevated the success level of BHSbasketball after replacing Dale Kimble at the helm. Wilson coachedthe Panthers to three state tournament appearances and five 20-pluswin seasons.

His overall record at BHS was 149 wins and 51 losses, includinga 25-9 record this past season. His best record was 30-6 in the1999-2000 campaign.

“I’m looking forward to a new challenge and a new area,” saidWilson. “Warren Central has an outstanding Class 5A athleticprogram.”

Wilson replaces John Duett who coached the Vikings for nineyears. They only had one winning season during Duett’s term at thehelm.

Asked about his basketball success at BHS, Wilson said it wasbitter-sweet. “Our players have worked hard to make us successful.The Hardwood Club has been very supportive and so has the entirecommunity.”

Wilson said basketball is a revenue producing sport which hasbeen forced to work in substandard conditions. Sinclair Gymnasiumhasn’t had hot water in the dressing rooms for at least sevenyears. The 36-year-old facility has been in dire need ofrepairs.

“In seven years the only thing that has been done was to sandthe floor and that was last year,” said Wilson. “The bleachers arein bad shape and need replacing. The sound system and scoreboardsare outdated and don’t work properly.

“Our program has been successful. The kids and fans deservebetter. The football program has a new field house and the baseballteam has a new field.”

Responding to Wilson’s comments, Brookhaven SchoolsSuperintendent Dr. Sam Bounds expressed surprise. “In the lastcouple of years we have totally renovated and replumbed thedressing rooms. “We have painted the whole gym inside and out.

“We are working on the bleachers and the scoreboards at thispoint. We were not aware of any problem with the sound system.

“We have spent money on the gymnasium,” Bounds continued. “It isnot a 2001 facility for it was built 36 years ago. However, we arein the middle of a $12-million renovation of the entire highschool.”

Wilson claimed there was no contract with an exterminator tocontrol insects and rodents in the gymnasium. “It’s bad when youopen your office door and roaches are running everywhere.”

Bounds disagreed with the charge. “We have a system-wide pestcontrol contract which covers all the buildings.”

Wilson moved to Brookhaven from Crystal Springs. He was hired byformer BHS athletic director Rusty Funk as an assistant football,baseball and basketball coach. A native of Gibsland, La., Wilsonattended Gibsland-Coleman High School where he was a 4-sport star,helping the basketball team win back-to-back state championships.He attended Louisiana Tech University on a baseball scholarship andplayed the outfield.

Wilson said BHS assistant basketball coach Dan Presley has beenan asset to his program. “Coach Presley did a good job teachingfundamentals. I wish I could take him with me to Vicksburg.”

Bounds expressed surprise at Wilson’s comments and said hisletter of resignation did not address any complaint or his personaldissatisfaction with the situation.