Chuck Babb resigned as the Warriors’ basketball coach Friday after six seasons at the helm. Counting his days as an assistant at Happy Valley and Elizabethton, Babb has been coaching since 1998, a span of 20 years. He stated a desire to spend more time with his ministry as the pastor of Crosspointe Fellowship Church in Elizabethton and more time with his kids, while also reflecting on the players he has coached.
"Twenty years is a long time," Babb said. "It's one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, but it is a decision I've given great thought and prayer. I've thought back about each team I've been a part of and the kids I've coached. But, it's time. We've touched some lives and you always hope it's been a positive experience."
Babb replaced legendary Warrior coach Charlie Bayless, who was the longest tenured coach in the country when he retired in 2012. Babb led the Warriors to three regional tournaments in his six seasons. His teams defeated Unicoi County in year one, Sullivan South last season and Sullivan East just weeks ago.
His announcement comes only a couple of weeks after girls basketball coach Larry Abel Jr. also announced he would be stepping away.
"We hate to lose him as a coach, although we will still have him as an administrator," Happy Valley athletic director Matt Estep said. "Like Coach Abel, he's going to be tough to replace. We're in a really tough conference for basketball and I thought he did a good job. We will go through that process of hiring both coaches now."
Babb, a 1993 Happy Valley graduate, was a two-time All-Watauga Conference selection and an honorable mention all-state player for the Warriors. He went on to play two seasons at Walters State and two seasons at Milligan College, where he was named honorable mention All-American.
"I want to say thank you to Dr. (Kevin) Ward, (former principal) Terry Hubbard, (current principal) Bernie Young, Coach Bayless and our board members for giving me the opportunity to fulfill a dream in becoming head basketball coach at my alma mater," Babb said. "I have spent my professional career aspiring to someday obtain this position.
"It is a position and tradition that I cherish and respect. I am only the fourth head coach in this school's great history. I love Happy Valley. I love this school. I love this community. It has been my great pleasure to give most of my adult life to this school, this basketball program and this community."