Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Seth Ford is back where it all began.
The former Westbrook Christian boys basketball coach is back at the school’s Rainbow City campus to coach the girls program.
From 2008 to 2015, Ford guided the Warriors to an overall record of 127-65. In each of his final three seasons, Westbrook won its area tournament and made it to the Class 2A Northeast Regional Tournament.
“I left six years ago, and for the majority of that time, I’ve hoped to find my way back at some point,” he said. “Westbrook was the first place I taught and coached, and it always had a piece of my heart. God always opens some doors, and He made it very clear that Westbrook was the place for me to be at this time.”
After leaving Westbrook, Ford (pictured above) spent three years as boys basketball coach at his alma mater, Ashville High School. He then moved to the Talladega County school system for two years. He spent last year at coaching RMS 7th and 8th grade boys basketball.
Ford noted that family considerations played a major part in his decision to return to 100 Westminster Drive. He and his wife Tiffany wanted stability for their children. Their daughter Zoe will be in the first grade, while son Miles will attend preschool.
“There’s nowhere else we’d like them to be for the next 12 or so years,” said Ford. “And I’ll be right there with them, which is the best past.”
According to Ford, he texted Westbrook Principal Cindy Greer a few months ago regarding another matter. The following day, he and Greer ran into each other at a local restaurant. The conversation gradually turned toward Ford’s plans for the future, and the two promised to stay in touch. A few weeks later, Greer let Ford know about the open position.
“Me and Tiffany talked and prayed about it, and it seemed liked God has everything lined up,” he said.
Ford said it will be different coaching girls in basketball rather than boys but added that he recently underwent a trial run as coach of The Unicorns, Zoe’s U6 team.
“Basketball is basketball, and I think the things that makes you successful with the boys will make you successful with the girls,” he said. “Relating to girls may be a little different, but it will be a new learning curve. It will be a new environment and a new challenge, and I’m excited about the opportunity.”
One thing that won’t change is Ford’s preference to push the ball up the court at every opportunity.
“That’s going to happen right off the bat,” he said. “This program needs a shot of excitement and energy, and my plan is to bring a very exciting and fast-paced tempo.”
Westbrook athletic director and head baseball coach Kennedy noted that former girls head coach Holly Ostendorf will remain involved in the program.
“In the process of trying to build the program back up, Holly was trying to get someone to help her,” he said. “It just so happened that Seth wanted to come back to Westbrook full-time, and when we spoke with him, he said he’d be willing to coach the girls.”
A 2004 Ashville graduate, Ford played three years for the Bulldog varsity basketball team, winning area titles his sophomore and senior years and the county championship his junior year. Ashville went 70-19 with Ford on the roster.
“We’re a pretty young team, and they’ll be some bumps along the way, but we’ll get through them. I’m excited for what the future holds,” he said.
Greer said that words could not express her excitement about the addition of Ford and boys basketball coach Donny Pruitt back int the fold.
“When you take those two coaches along with Matt and [head football coach] Drew Noles, I think that we are beginning to have the Mount Rushmore of coaches. I’m not saying our other coaches are not of that quality but talk about proven and successful coaches. These are men who not only understand how to coach their sport but understand how to develop young men and ladies to Godly young people. They’re taking out motto of training young warriors for Christ and putting into action day by day.”