Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

June 23, 2013

Panther boys get new hoop coach

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — The basketball world in Pauls Valley is about to see a big change as the Panther boys are getting a new head coach.

Local school officials made it official by naming Tim Johnson, an Elmore City-Pernell graduate a dozen years ago, as the boys’ new coach on the hardwood.

The move came after the boys’ coach over the past few years, Chad Chronister, stepped away from this one role for family reasons.

Johnson has coached boys basketball the past five years at Rush Springs with the last three as head coach.

He is clearly ready to get here and get things going for the PV boys basketball program.

“I’m excited to come back to the area and get to work trying to build up the program and get it going in the right direction,” Johnson said.

“I’m looking forward to getting there and getting things fired up.”

Ironically it was former PV coach Chris Caldwell, now the school’s principal, who teamed up with athletic director Kirk Moore to interview Johnson and decide he’s the one for the job.

Moore said this week Chronister is stepping down from the basketball coaching position to spend more time with family and kids.

Chronister will continue his teaching duties, along with his work as an assistant football coach while also helping out sometimes with junior high basketball.

“He’s coached three sports since he’s been here,” Moore said about Chronister.

“It takes a lot of time and responsibility to be the head coach. He wants more time with his kids.”

As for his replacement, Johnson is a 2001 ECP grad who played for the iconic Badger coach Joe Terrell.

That alone represents one big positive for the new coach, Moore said.

“He’s young, a quality guy,” he said about Johnson.

“He played for coach Terrell at Elmore. That says a lot.”

The athletic director describes Johnson’s coaching style as kind of laid back without a lot of screaming.

“He’s kind of a calm and cool guy,” Moore said.

When Johnson arrived at Rush Springs he stepped into a basketball program that wasn’t having much success. Competing in a tough conference likely played into the struggles.

Under Johnson the basketball team there did show some improvement.

“I took over a program that was having its problems and we started to get things going,” Johnson said.

With Johnson as the new coach, Panther fans can expect to see a team that will look to run and push the ball up the court creating as many scoring opportunities as possible.

“We’ll play up tempo basketball, press a little bit, run and gun,” he said.

As for his coaching style, Johnson said he’s not really a “big time vocal guy, but sometimes you’ve got to make your point to the players.”

Johnson is hoping to organize a basketball camp for youngsters in July. More on that is expected later.

Along with his basketball duties he will also serve as a history teacher and as an assistant for Pauls Valley’s new football coach, Bill Green.