Sullivan South girls' coach Haile steps down

Jeff Birchfield • Mar 26, 2018 at 5:43 PM

Citing a desire to spend more time with family, Torey Haile stepped down as Sullivan South girls basketball coach Monday after leading the Lady Rebels the past five seasons.

A second-generation coach as the daughter of longtime Dobyns-Bennett coach Rodney Burton, she earned high praise for her professionalism and what the girls accomplished both on and off the court.

After the Rebels showed a 12-win improvement over the previous season, she shared the Three Rivers Conference coach of the year award with Kristi Walling of Sullivan Central for the 2017-18 season.

South athletic director Anthony Richardson said the school will have to post the position and go through an interview process before choosing a replacement. He was complimentary of the job Haile did in leading the Lady Rebels from a slow start to a 21-11 record.

"They started out 0-6 this past year and went on an 11-game winning streak ended up winning 20-some games," Richardson said. "She pulled the kids together and they were playing good ball. We lose only one senior, so we hate that she's leaving. She was good for our program and she worked really hard."

Haile's overall record was 58-76, but that included a pair of seasons when South fielded extremely young teams. A respected math teacher in the classroom, Richardson sees her success can’t be measured simply on the scoreboard.

"She was more than just a coach," Richardson said. "She was teaching life skills to the girls. Everybody else is about wins and losses. But, I think of how we treat them as kids. That's more important to me as we get older. I would want her to coach my daughter. She was teaching them to be successful in life and that's the most important thing."

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