Basketball: Newman moves from Cobras to Jackets

Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2023

A familiar face to area hoops fans will be in a new place when the 2023-2024 season rolls around as longtime Wesson coach Rusty Newman was recently hired to lead the basketball programs at Enterprise Attendance Center.

Newman is a Wesson alum and coached the boys’ team at his alma mater for 13 seasons after being hired to replace Ron Kessler in the summer of 2010. As a varsity boys’ coach, Newman went 188-164 in his career at Wesson.

He’d coached at South Pike and Lawrence County as junior high head coach and varsity assistant before getting the chance to lead his own program at Wesson.

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“Coming back home to Wesson was something that I really enjoyed,” said Newman. “It’s been a blessing and to work under here and to be involved with this community. I’ve coached some phenomenal kids during my time here and I’ve worked under some great administrators at Wesson.”

At EAC, Newman will coach both the boys’ and girls’ teams on the junior high and high school level, as did retiring head coach Shane Adams.

Newman has experience coaching girls’ basketball though as he coached both Wesson teams for three years earlier in his career.’

In 2020, Newman was named Daily Leader All-Area Coach of the Year after his team finished as runners-up in Region 7-2A. It was the second time in his career for Newman to earn that honor.

His Cobra tams made their division tournament finals four times under his watch, and he had three players sign college scholarships with Copiah-Lincoln during his career.

The Cobras have been a 3A school for much of Newman’s tenure at Wesson. At Enterprise, he’ll head up a Yellow Jacket program that plays in the MHSAA 1A classification.

In addition to coaching hoops, Newman will also be athletic director and coach golf at EAC.

Newman has a specialist in sports administration.

“This opportunity arose, and a bonus is that I’ve always been interested in working in athletic administration,” said Newman. “I really felt like I wanted a fresh start and a new challenge and I’m really looking forward to putting my all into Enterprise basketball. We ran a pretty big peewee program at Wesson and I’m hoping to get something like that going here. I’ve met the kids and I’m excited to get to work.”