A lot of changes took place Wednesday at Cottage Hill Christian, most of them affecting the school’s athletics program.
In the morning, Chris Brazell, the school’s athletics director, head football coach and head baseball coach, announced he was stepping down from all three positions to accept the position of Head of School at the campus. Later in the day, boys’ head basketball coach John Price announced he would be leaving the school at the end of the current academic year. He cited instability in the school’s leadership position — he said the school is going into its third leadership change in the past four years — as a reason for his decision.
Attempts to reach Brazell for comment were unsuccessful. He is set to replace Jeremy Sandefir as head of school at Cottage Hill.
Brazell has been at the school for two decades and three years ago added head coach and athletics director to his duties. He has been the head baseball coach for the past 17 seasons and his Warriors teams have enjoyed good success for the most part over that tenure.
In football, he posted a 23-9 overall record as head coach, including a 10-2 mark in 2018, his first year on the job after serving as a long-time assistant on the football staff. He followed that with an 8-3 mark in 2019 and a 5-4 record last year. The Warriors reached the playoff two of his seasons in charge, posting a 1-2 record in the postseason. Cottage Hill was 15-5 against regional opponents under Brazell.
It is believed Bobby Parrish, the former head coach at Williamson, who is an assistant coach on the Cottage Hill staff, will be tabbed as interim head coach and likely will be considered a candidate for the full-time job.
Price, who led Cottage Hill’s basketball team to a 26-2 record last season, the most wins in school history and the Warriors’ first-ever spot in the Final Four, released a statement concerning his decision to step down. He was 37-18 overall in his two seasons leading the program. All five starters from last year’s team are set to return.
“I have decided to step down as Head Basketball Coach at Cottage Hill Christian Academy, and pursue other opportunities,” he said in his statement, which he made available to Lagniappe. “I would like to thank the players of the last two teams who have laid an outstanding foundation for future Warrior teams to build on. We accomplished some great milestones together, and I’ll always cherish the journey. It was a fun ride through some difficult Covid circumstances we had to navigate. The future of Warrior basketball is very bright, and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to be the leader of some great kids who did everything I asked them to do from Day 1. “My second daughter is now a graduate and with CHCA going into its 3rd school leadership change in the last 4 years it’s the right time to step away and seek out a place with some stability where I can plug in and flourish both in and outside of basketball. Basketball has been a big part of my life for a long time, and I’m hopeful it will continue to be, but I need to step into other giftings and purposes God has given me to use beyond the game.”
Price also noted some accomplishments by the program during his time as head coach that included a pair of area championships and the school’s first No. 1 ranking in any boys sport, which the team garnered for part of last season. He also noted the longest win streak in school history (18) and suggested the program should be in great shape as there is only one senior on the roster at this time over the next two seasons.
Price also noted in his statement to Lagniappe that Adam Thomas, who has been his assistant coach the past two years, is expected to be named the new boys’ head coach and the school’s new AD.
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