Mike Henry wasn’t out of coaching long.
Less than three weeks after resigning as head boys basketball coach at Headland, Henry has another job, this one at Carroll High School.
A 27-year coaching veteran with previous stops at Ashford, Eufaula and Headland, Henry was hired as the Eagles boys basketball coach at Thursday’s Ozark City School Board meeting. He replaces Raymond White, whose contract was non-renewed last month.
Henry will also teach history at Carroll and likely help coach other sports. He comes to Ozark after five years at Headland that produced an 86-58 record, including 16-9 this past season. He has a career coaching record of 454-254.
“First of all, I am grateful to continue doing something that I am so passionate about,” Henry said in a Dothan Eagle interview after the meeting. “Getting the opportunity to do it at Carroll High School is definitely something I am looking forward to.”
He thanked the Carroll administration, led by Superintendent Dr. Rick McInturf, principal Andrea Maness and assistant principal Brad Barton along with Eagle head football coach Patrick Plott.
“I am appreciative of Dr. McInturf, Mrs. Andrea Maness, Mr. Barton and coach Plott for giving me the opportunity to do what I am so passionate about,” Henry said. “I am excited about the opportunity to meet with the guys and be with this coaching staff. I see so much potential in the Carroll program from an entire athletic standpoint. I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Eagle Nation.”
As a Wiregrass coach who has competed against the Eagles, Henry sees a “sleeping giant” at Carroll, an athletic program that has had limited success in the last decade, especially in basketball.
“I believe it is a sleeping giant as it relates to athletics,” Henry said. “In everything they do, they have a whole lot of school spirit. I have watched everything from the cheer squad and teams and I see the enthusiasm of the whole school. I am excited about the potential I see and I hope to make it an overall enjoyable experience for the student-athletes at Carroll.”
A star athlete at Northview High School and later as a college baseball player at Florida A&M, Henry previously coached basketball at Ashford (12 years) and Eufaula (10 years) before leading Headland.
At Eufaula, he was the head boys basketball coach, amassing a 177-112 record. He guided the Tigers to the Class 5A state semifinals in 2008 and had five other teams reach the Elite Eight.
Before Eufaula, he spent 12 years as a coach at Ashford, serving as junior varsity girls coach and assistant football coach his first two years. He was then head coach of the girls basketball program for five years before guiding the boys basketball team five years.
He began his coaching career as a baseball graduate assistant for two years at Florida A&M, his alma mater.
“Coach Henry is not only known for his coaching expertise, but he is also known as an individual that is simply good for young men,” McInturf said. “He is a role model and a motivator.
“The Ozark School System is excited to give our young men the opportunity to grow and excel under the supervision of coach Henry.”
Known for his passionate coaching on the court, Henry plans to bring that same mentality to the Ozark school.
“They can expect me to give everything that I have,” Henry said. “I will definitely try to bring the energy, definitely try to bring the motivation. We will try to tweak one or two things that I see that I think can help advance our level of play and go on from what they bring to the table.
“I am going to take their energy and see if we can tweak it to a level that stays at a consistent level to where we can be competitive night in and night out.”
Last year, Carroll boys basketball had a competitive season on the court only to see off-the-court ineligibility issues force it to forfeit 19 games, turning a 23-8 on-court record to an official 4-27 mark.
Henry, though, saw the type of team the Eagles were and hopes to build off that.
“We want to build off that spirit and desire that they exemplified this past year,” Henry said. “We want to make that a mainstay in our approach and in everything we do. I see a lot of potential.”