When Craig Boothe took over the Chancellor High School boys basketball team, the eight seniors on the most recent roster were freshmen.
Boothe entered Chancellor with that group and he’s leaving with them, as well.
Boothe said Thursday he’s resigned from the Chargers after a four-year run that included the 2020 Battlefield District tournament championship and three appearances in the regional playoffs.
Boothe said the timing of his departure gives him a “clean break” as the Chargers look to rebuild and he aims for another coaching opportunity.
“I think sometimes you reach a point where you should give somebody else an opportunity and you shouldn’t stay just because you want to stay,” Boothe said. “You take a group of guys, make sure they graduate and make sure they have a good experience. That’s what we did.”
The Chargers went 41-45 in Boothe’s tenure, but they were a youthful bunch his first two seasons. In his final two campaigns, Chancellor went 25-14 overall and 17-7 in the Battlefield.
Boothe said off the court, he’s most proud that the basketball program had 10-12 honor roll students each year on JV and varsity combined.
“Coach Boothe did a wonderful job for us and a wonderful job for our kids,” Chancellor athletic director Len Carlson said. “We loved having him while he was here.”
Boothe said the on-the-court highlight of his tenure came in the district championship game last season. The Chargers fell to rival Courtland twice during the regular season and the Cougars had lost just one game up to that point. But Chancellor emerged with a hard-fought 62-58 victory.
“What I remember is our ability to control the game in the second half and the no-quit attitude of the kids,” Boothe said. “They executed the game-plan defensively to perfection.”
Chancellor went 9-5 during this COVID-19 shortened season and was unable to qualify for the postseason after placing third in the district behind Courtland and Eastern View.
Boothe said in addition to seeking a coaching opportunity at a public or private school anywhere from Fredericksburg to the Washington, D.C. area, the New York native is directing a documentary focused on basketball and life in Brooklyn, N.Y. from the mid-1970s into the 80s.
The film is entitled “Ball, Side, Middle Documentary: A Brooklyn Basketball Story” is expected to be completed by March.
Carlson said the Chargers will start receiving applications for the opening next week. Carlson added he hopes to conduct the interview process next month and hire a new coach before the school year ends.
“We have eight seniors that are going to graduate but we had some good young players behind them and good talent on JV,” Carlson said. “I know the next coach is going to be ready to get up and rolling and get that young talent where it needs to be.”
Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526