Anthony Moseley spent last season admiring the talent on Christian Heritage’s varsity boys basketball team.
Now he gets the chance to make the most of it.
Moseley became head coach of Christian Heritage’s high school team this summer after spending the 2011-2012 season leading the middle school boys basketball program.
He replaces Chad Woodson, who was Lions basketball coach and an athletic director through the end of last season.
Woodson told The Daily Citizen earlier this week that he lost his job at the school because of budget cuts.
Moseley said he was surprised at the talent level displayed by his middle school team, which finished 11-3 last season.
“When I came, I didn’t think the middle school team would be as good,” he said. “I thought we’d be like a rec-league team, but they were pretty good.”
Then he got a chance to see the older Lions play.
“I looked at the high school team and watched them play, and I immediately saw the natural ability they have,” Moseley said. “We’re going to have a really good team.”
That natural ability perceived by Moseley didn’t translate to many wins last season, though, as the Lions went 9-16. Still, they finished fourth in the GISA’s Region 4-2A and upset Region 1 top-seeded Piedmont Academy on the road in the opening round of the state tournament before losing in the second round.
Moseley’s role isn’t the only change for the Lions, though. Christian Heritage’s sports teams have made the jump to the GHSA this season and will compete in Class A’s Region 6. Nearby league foes will include Darlington, Gordon Lee and Trion
“I’m really excited to be going to the GHSA,” Moseley said.
“It’s going to be good competition.”
Moseley, 48, will be a community coach this season — he said he will substitute teach at the school — and become a full-time teacher for the 2013-2014 school year. The GHSA does not permit community coaches to act as head coaches, but Christian Heritage football coach and athletic director Preston Poag has said previously that community coaches who were acting in head roles before the school officially joined the GHSA would be “grandfathered” in and exempt from the regulation.
Moseley has eight years of coaching experience, strictly at the middle school level, and also spent some time as an assistant football coach and baseball umpire. Before coaching the Lions’ middle school team, he coached Summerville Middle School in Chattooga County. He is originally from Pensacola, Fla., but graduated from Chattooga High in 1983 and Dalton State College in 1997.
He said the chance to coach the Lions on the high school level is a gift from God.
“I am big on faith,” Moseley said. “I completely trust God. Everything is ordained by God, the coaching position and everything. I’ve always enjoyed coaching kids. I’ve helped coach middle school football, and I know basketball in and out.”
Woodson was Christian Heritage’s boys basketball coach the past five seasons, and he led the Lions to the GISA Class 2A state tournament every year save 2010.
The Lions won the Region 4-2A title in 2008, his first season, and advanced to the state semifinals both that year and the next. After a one-year absence, the Lions made the state tournament the past two seasons as a No. 4 seed, but they had a losing record each of those years.
Woodson compiled a 77-54 record in his tenure at the school, with 47 of the wins coming his first two seasons.
He is still working in town, having landed a job at Valley Point Middle as the Green Waves’ boys basketball coach. He’s also an assistant on the football staff at the Whitfield County school.
Before joining the Lions, Woodson had previously been boys basketball coach at Greenwood (S.C.) Christian School for four years. He took over from Steve Irwin, who had coached four years at Christian Heritage, winning 105 games and leading the Lions to back-to-back postseason championships in 2005-06, when they were competing in the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools.
The Lions began GISA competition in Woodson’s first season.
Woodson was the school’s sole athletic director from fall 2007 to spring 2011, but Poag and Woodson shared the title during the 2011-12 school year, Poag’s first at Christian Heritage.
The Daily Citizen sports editor Marty Kirkland contributed to this story.