Wright leaves Scott County Central after winning three state basketball titles

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The four-time defending Class 1 state champions will have a new coach next year.

Scott County Central boys basketball coach Kenyon Wright notified his boss Monday that he will not return to the school in the fall.

"I'm very disappointed to see him leave, but he's doing what's best for his career at this time," SCC superintendent Al McFerren said.

Wright, a Bell City graduate, will return to his alma mater as a teacher in the district and the school's athletic director. He also will coach junior high basketball.

"There's a lot of positives about Kenyon," Bell City superintendent Matt Asher said. "He's got five state titles. He's got one as a player, he's got three as a coach and he's got one as an assistant coach. He's got that winning attitude and winning persona that I think we're trying to get back at Bell City. I think it's all a good combination."

Wright has served as SCC's coach for the last three seasons, and he captured a state championship all three years. He posted a 79-14 record during his three seasons and was named coach of the year in Class 1 by the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association last month.

The Scott County Central School Board voted to rehire Wright during its meeting March 27 after four people, including an SCC basketball player, spoke in favor of rehiring Wright, according to the Sikeston Standard Democrat.

But Wright, who did not return a phone call seeking comment, decided to leave for Bell City.

"I know Kenyon was having some issues over there, and I think those are well-documented," Asher said. "We're happy to get him. I really feel like it's their loss and our gain."

Bell City also hired Steve Wells, who most recently coached basketball at Zalma, as its boys basketball coach. He replaces Nate Wills. Justin Simpher will return as an assistant to Wells.

"We've got two young, good energetic guys and then we've got somebody in Steve that has a lot of experience," Asher said. "We're just trying to get things turned around."

McFerren said he did not have anyone in mind who he'd like to interview to replace Wright. The Braves went 22-12 this season, and two of the five starters return next season.

"This is the first official notice of [Wright's] intentions, so we'll follow the normal procedures," McFerren said about hiring a replacement.

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