Hawks get new coach

Published 6:16 am Thursday, June 25, 2009

By Dwayne Bremer

Item Sports Correspondent

KILN — Chris Biehl is a basketball coach with a reputation for turning around programs and earlier this month he was asked to do just that when he was named the new boys head basketball coach at Hancock High School.

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Biehl, 36, has spent the past year out of coaching after moving around several times after Hurricane Katrina.

Prior to the storm, he was head coach at Rummel High School in New Orleans, where his team was ranked number three in the state in 2005.

“I have a drive to create programs,” Biehl said. “Hancock County has an unbelievable tradition in basketball. I think the community is ready for a turnaround.”

Biehl began his coaching career in college when he was a student/assistant under coaches Tim Floyd, Tommy Joe Eagles, and Tick Price at the University of New Orleans.

“I always loved the game,” Biehl said. “I went to a big high school in Louisiana, so I did not play too much in high school, but coaching is a big joy for me.”

After leaving college, he earned the head coaching position at Pope John Paul High in Slidell, where he turned a woeful program into a winner.

His success at Pope John Paul allowed him to get the head spot at Rummel, whose team had also fallen on hard times.

After turning that program around and having a chance at a state title in 2005, Katrina hit and ended the 2005 season before it even started.

“We had one of the best teams in the state that year,” he said. “We had improved every year up until that point.”

He will now take over as Hawks basketball team which has only won 10 games in the past two years. He replaces Dennis Peterson, Jr., who was also a former assistant at Pearl River Central.

The Hawks do, however, have some promising young players and Biehl said he sees some positives in his new team.

“I have met with the boys twice,” he said. “I see a drive and hunger there. These kids are ready to win. Its my job to push them and put them in the right place.”

Athletic Director Sean Keener said he thinks Biehl is the right man for the job.

“He has been successful everywhere he has been,” Keener said. “He brings discipline, character and a hard work ethic. I think it’s a great hire.”