Nation Ford High has hired a new coach to lead its girls’ basketball program.
Tamara Washington, who has been coaching in Colleton County, was one of more than 40 applicants for the job. She replaces Mike Smith, who stepped down after two seasons.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity,” Washington said.
Nation Ford Athletic Director Brian Turner said Washington has a variety of attributes that helped her stand out from the other applicants.
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“(We were) looking for experience, passion, enthusiasm and previous success,” Turner said. “She met all of the criteria.”
A South Carolina native who graduated from Spring Valley High in Columbia, Washington has spent the past six years at Colleton County High School. Three of those years were as head coach of the girls’ basketball team, and she compiled a 62-16 record. She also coached as an assistant at her alma mater, Tennessee State University, from 2006-2008.
“I took a lot from that program,” she said.
Washington said she was looking toward bigger challenges.
“I was looking for a change and wanted to be challenged,” she said. “I always considered myself to be the sixth man on the floor. That is the challenge, to take this program from where it is to another level.”
She describes herself as an “animated” coach who leads through energy and excitement.
Washington played at Tennessee State from 1997 through 2001. Between her playing days and her time as an assistant, she was also the head girls’ basketball coach at Whites Creek High School in Tennessee and had a 41-36 record in her three years there.
In addition to her new coaching duties, Washington, who will finish the school year in Colleton County before coming to the Fort Mill area, will be teaching physical education at the school.
She is the second basketball coach from Colleton County to come to the Falcons in recent years. Boys’ head basketball coach Michael Tew is from there as well.