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Redden takes stock as HCC's basketball coach

July 30, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

Earl Redden is all about grocery lists.

As a general manager at a local Food Lion, his job revolves around getting the shelves stocked with products.

On the side, he has worked as a basketball recruiter for the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team. His job was to stock the roster with talent.

Now, Redden is shopping for himself.

Redden was named HCC's new head basketball coach Tuesday, taking control of the program where he had spent much of the last 10 years helping to recruit for the Hawks' last four coaches.

"I really wanted to give it a try," Redden said. "I thought it was time for me to try. I had coached for other programs, but I thought this was the time here because it didn't seem like the right person was available, so it was time for me to try."

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Redden worked as a recruiter for longtime HCC coach Jim Brown and then helped out with his successors - Kenny Keyes, Terry Truax and Ryan Devlin. Redden was an assistant for Truax last season and then for Devlin after Truax resigned his position at midseason.

Devlin took over as head coach for the last half of the 2007-08 season before leaving to take an assistant's job with Montrose Christian. HCC athletic director Bo Myers spent four months looking for a replacement, combing through a dozen candidates, before settling on Redden.

"Ryan would have been our coach, but he took the other job," Myers said. "We are excited to have Earl. He has worked with the recruiting, but he has underestimated his ability to coach the kids."

HCC has had problems finding coaches because it is unable to offer full-time positions. It forces Myers and the school to look for qualified people with flexible careers.

Redden fits the bill and now gets to work with the players he recruited. And since he was recruiting for himself, he used a more critical eye to find the right players for what he wants to do.

"I spent a lot of time zeroing on kids that fit what I was looking for," Redden said. "I was looking for kids who could do the things I like. I want to be able to run with ball, but there are times that I would like to play more controlled. I was looking for kids who could be flexible."

Redden said the Hawks will feature a mixture of size and diverse talent. HCC will have some junior college transfers along with new talent from Virginia and Delaware to work with returning big man Will Thomas from Williamsport.

"We will have players who stand 6-foot-9, two 6-7s and three 6-6s and we will have a veteran point guard coming in who had been recruited to play for Cincinnati out of high school," Redden said.

Redden spent a season as the head coach for the Snow Hill girls team in the 1980s and helped with the boys teams until moving to Washington County and working for HCC.

The biggest challenge for Redden might be the one of moving over a couple of seats on the bench, from the assistant's position to the hot seat.

"The big thing will be listening to myself doing the talking," Redden said. "I'm used to listening to someone else and then making suggestions. Now I will have to make sure of what I'm saying and what I want to do.

"I worked with two established coaches in Jim Brown and Terry Truax. I want to take what I learned from them, use it to put together a system and then put it to use with a group of players."

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