Collins Hill landed one of North Carolina’s top prep coaches as its new head boys basketball coach.
The Eagle players were told Friday afternoon that the new hire is Ty Baumgardner, who led a successful 10-year run at Olympic High in Charlotte that included a 2013 Class AAAA state championship and a pair of national rankings that season, No. 5 by MaxPreps and No. 11 by USA Today. Baumgardner also told his Olympic players on Friday.
“We wanted to go after the best we could,” Collins Hill athletic director Jason Dopson said. “We had that mentality, all they can do is tell us no. I have a folder full of probably more than 100 resumés from people who wanted this job. I heard his name through the grapevine, called and asked him if he would be interested.
“I think we hit a home run with this hire. Obviously, there is a lot of talent coaching-wise in state of Georgia and he just adds to that. We have great coaches in Region 7, Region 8 and Gwinnett in general. I think this county and this region just got a lot tougher. He’s got a proven record.”
Baumgardner said he wasn’t looking to move, but was intrigued by Dopson’s call. His Olympic teams have played several Georgia teams in recent seasons — including Buford, South Gwinnett, East Hall and Wheeler — and he knew about the quality of basketball in Georgia.
He also knew specifically about the basketball talent in metro Atlanta, having brought his team for Norcross’ Hilton Invitational. Additionally, he got updates from one of his good coaching friends, current Lambert coach and former South Gwinnett coach Scott Bracco.
“Playing some of these teams the last few years, I was intrigued by the basketball in Georgia, specifically in the metro Atlanta area,” Baumgardner said. “I heard nothing but great things about Gwinnett County and Collins Hill High School in particular. I was just intrigued by the opportunity to come down here. It’s really good basketball.
“I’m just excited by the possibility that the Collins Hill basketball program presents. There’s great administration, great facilities, great community support and resources. A lot of key, critical things are in place for the basketball program and the athletic program in general to be successful. It’s one of top five largest schools in the state so there’s obviously a large talent pool to choose from. We talked about the region, that’s going to be fun. I’m a very competitive person and it’s going to be a challenge every night.”
Baumgardner, a 44-year-old Kansas native, coached at the college level for his alma mater, Emporia State (Kans.), and Elon before his successful run as a high school head coach. He also played college basketball for four seasons — two at Hutchinson Community College (Kans.), one at Nicholls State (La.) and one at Emporia State.
His Olympic teams have gone 229-63 over the past 10 seasons, including a 109-9 record the last four years. He led seven of his Olympic teams to conference championships.
His best team was the 30-0 squad that won state in 2013, which earned him state coach of the year honors. Despite returning just one starter from the state championship team, Olympic went 23-5 this past season.
Now he gets a chance to replicate his success in Georgia.
“Comparing it to North Carolina, the players down in Georgia are bigger, stronger and more athletic on a whole as opposed to up here,” Baumgardner said. “When you see a Georgia team, it’s a different looking kind of athlete. Very athletic, tough kids. There are tough kids up here, too. But probably the biggest difference I have seen with high school basketball players in Georgia is that they’re bigger, stronger and more athletic, and there are more of them than up here.”
Collins Hill also needs to hire a head girls basketball coach. Dopson said that position hasn’t been filled, but it should be selected soon.
THE BAUMGARDNER FILE
Name: Ty Baumgardner
New position: Head boys basketball coach at Collins Hill
Former position: Head boys basketball coach at Olympic High in Charlotte, N.C.
Career record: 222-63
Education: Graduated from Emporia High School (Kans.); graduated from Emporia State University (Kans.) with a degree in marketing; earned master’s degree in health and physical education from Emporia State
Background: Has led Olympic to a 222-63 record the past 10 seasons, including a 109-9 mark the last four seasons; won the 2013 Class AAAA state championship with a 30-0 record, finishing No. 5 (MaxPreps) and No. 11 (USA Today) in the final national rankings; state championship was just the second in school history; has led seven of his 10 Olympic teams to conference titles; coached previously as an assistant at Emporia State University and Elon University (N.C.); played basketball at Hutchinson Community College (Kansas), Nicholls State (La.) and Emporia State.
Family: Wife Tasha; son Tyson, 7