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South makes Naylor's coaching dream come true

October 13, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

Kevin Naylor has become very used to waiting.

But now, the wait has become a whole lot shorter.

For years, Naylor wanted the chance to be the head coach for a high school basketball team. He cut his teeth in the junior league and as an assistant at both the prep and junior college level.

He was waiting for his chance. That wait all but ended Friday with the announcement by athletic director Mike Tesla that Naylor was hired to be the next basketball coach at South Hagerstown, replacing Dennis Seman, who resigned in July to accept teaching and coaching positions in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

"I was out of my mind with happiness when I found out (on Wednesday)," Naylor said. "This is what I truly want to do."

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Now Naylor's wait is down to 33 days, with his first practice beginning Nov. 15. The goal is to take his past experiences and start a program that is solid and will make South Hagerstown proud.

"I want to let these guys know that this is another avenue to go elsewhere in life," Naylor said. "I want to get a nice program going here and reach back to get things going back with the eighth graders. I think the best year here recently was nine wins. I want to give the fans something to let them know we are moving in the right direction."

South athletic director Mike Tesla said the job opening drew eight applicants, six of whom were interviewed.

"Kevin was impressive in his interview and he has a genuine interest in the kids," Tesla said. "I think he'll do a good job."

Naylor was successful in his second attempt at getting the South job. He applied when Seman was hired but was eliminated because South was looking for a teacher who would also coach. Seman was a teacher in Frederick, Md., while Naylor works for the City of Hagerstown.

Still, Naylor wanted to coach.

It's been a long journey to get to this point.

After working as a manager for then-coach John Chaney at Cheyney University, Naylor got the itch to coach. He worked with the junior league and was an assistant for Wayne Ridenour at St. James.

Naylor added to his background through his son Nate, who transferred from North Hagerstown to Thomas Johnson. Naylor was able to watch the practices of TJ coach Tom Dickman. After that, he worked on the Hagerstown Community College staff under Kenny Keyes.

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