NEWLAND — Former varsity and junior varsity basketball head coach Scott Grubb has accepted the varsity basketball head coaching position at Avery County High School.
“It will definitely be different. It’s exciting, it’s a new challenge and I’m looking at it as a new beginning,” said Grubb.
Grubb was the JV head coach at Ashe County before moving to the varsity position following the retirement of Marc Payne in 2012.
Grubb will replace former Viking coach Scott Polsgrove after the coaching veteran decided to return to the college coaching ranks at Eastern Nazarene College, a Division III program near Boston. Polsgrove was previously the head coach at Lees-McRae College and King College for a combined 20 seasons.
During Polsgrove’s tenure, Avery County had an 85-33 record.
“They (Avery) have had a tremendous amount of success and quite a record. The people have Avery County have welcomed me with open arms and I’m very enthusiastic about the possibilities for this year and they seem like fine young men,” Grubb said.
The Avery Vikings have been one of the top 1A teams in the western part of the state over the past three seasons. In the 2013-14 season, the Vikings went 26-5 before falling in the 1A Western Finals to Winston-Salem Prep.
The next year, it was once again Winston-Salem Prep that ended Avery’s season, this time in the 1A Western Semifinals. Avery finished that year with a 20-9 mark.
Last season, Avery went 26-5 and for a third year in a row, suffered another playoff loss to Winston-Salem Prep in the semifinals.
“These guys know what success is, they’ve already experienced it. I am not trying to replace Coach Polsgrove in any way. I want to build relationships with these guys and hope they can etch out a place in their hearts for me too,” said Grubb. “They were a team looking for a coach and I was a coach looking for a team.”
As for Ashe County, Grubb says that he’ll never forget the place he’s always called home.
“My time at Ashe County was extraordinary. I got to work with wonderful people. Coach Payne was so good to me, the administration was so good to me and I loved the students and my players,” he said. “It will always be a special place to me. I am very proud of the program, it will always be a special piece of my life.
Grubb has been at Ashe County High School since the school opened.
“When you’ve been somewhere for 18 years, maybe it’s time for a change. I’m hoping the new environment re-energizes me, and I think it will,” Grubb said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to coaching.”
Attempts to reach Avery County Athletic Director Jay Smith were unsuccessful.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.