Young coaches take over at Amory

By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal

AMORY – Amory went young on Monday night, hiring two basketball coaches that wouldn’t qualify for social security benefits if their ages were added together.
Rob Browning was approved at Monday’s school board meeting to replace Louis Riddick, who resigned his spot after two seasons coaching the Lady Panthers.
Browning, a recent Ole Miss graduate, is no stranger to the game, having played for Ingomar legend Norris Ashley and serving as a volunteer assistant for Ashley’s son Jonathan last season at Myrtle.
“I’m excited, with just getting out of college, it’s a blessing to be a head coach and I feel like I have enough energy to put into it to really have a good year,” Browning said.
Nine years his elder at only 31 years of age, Jason Kelly was approved to take over the Amory boys programs vacated by Scott Carter, who also left after two seasons.
Kelly has been a head coach at Tupelo Christian for five seasons, coaching girls and most recently boys. The Nettleton native will also coach defensive backs for first-year athletic director and football coach Trent Hammond.
“To coach at a 4A as young as I am is a great opportunity,” Kelly said. “To be able to be young enough to bring energy, excitement and enthusiasm but to be old enough and mature enough to have seen a lot of situations is a good balance.”
Riddick, who resigned after the school year, remains at the school as a teacher, while Carter left the program last week to pursue other endeavors.
“We interviewed people for two-and-a-half weeks from 8 to 4 just about,” Hammond said. “We’re excited to get Jason and he’s excited about coaching basketball and football. He fills a lot of roles for us at the high school. Everyone we talk to talks about (Browning’s) tremendous basketball knowledge. We’ve got a great guy there.”