The Paris Eagles boys basketball program will have a new head coach next season. Blain Brewington has been selected as the new head coach and comes in having served as an assistant for 5A Nettleton, a state tournament team, two of the last three years. This will be Brewington's first head coaching job, but he comes in with high recommendations and fits the pattern of young or first-time head coaches in Paris.
Brewington comes from a coach home; his dad is currently coaching at Pocahontas. He also served as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas under Mike Anderson. "It was one of the best experiences of my life. It is a family, and now I am part of that family." Among that family of influential coaches are names like Lee Mayberry, Scotty Thurman and Matt Zimmerman. Zimmerman spent time talking to Athletic Director Casey Mainer about Brewington during the hiring process.
As you would expect from a student of Anderson, the goal is to play fast. Exactly how that will take shape will be determined later, as Brewington can still not meet with players while teams across the state are still in a dead period, meaning no contact. However, he knows about the talent that Paris has coming over the next few years. Mainer said that one of the things that drew them to Brewington was the fact he had done his homework before the interview. "I know there are some talented boys coming back to help lead and there is some real talent moving up from the junior high program," Brewing said.
"We need to set a goal to double the win total from a year ago. Try and put ourselves in a good position to make the postseason tournament." Brewington also is aware of the local rivals and the new schedule next season. "I know Charleston and Booneville are the teams you want to beat around here. Also tough (non-conference) matchups against County Line and Scranton. Coach Z (Zimmerman) coached at Dardanelle and told me a lot about the community and the competition."
Brewington also checked another key box for Mainer by wanting to be part of the local community and the bigger picture on campus. Brewington smiled as he said, "You will see me at all the football games, in the local places to eat, at church here. I want to be part of the community."
When asked about the other coaches on staff coming from similar situations, Brewington was quick to respond. "It is a good situation with the other coaches. I have heard some of their stories. We are a family, all after the same goals." The Brewington hire means that Paris now has new head coaches across the board that all come in as first-year coaches or are very early in their career. Mainer has been part of all of the hires that are in place now. The others have all produced excellent results. Tyler Clark had the toughest situation and made significant strides in his second year, Donald Hart had softball in contention for a title, Josh Hart had baseball off to a strong start in his first season, and Jordan Devine already has a state title under her belt.
The longest-tenured now is the girl's basketball head coach Dustin Williams, who has worked with a limited roster for each season but produced teams that are ready to take the next step into the regionals next season. Mainer said, "The potential in all sports is really good right now. Blain fits right into that model for success."