Elliott Pope introduced as new Lexington boys' basketball coach
A new era of Lexington High School boys' basketball was ushered in Thursday.
The program's reins were officially turned over to Elliott Pope during a morning press conference at the school. He succeeds longtime head coach Bailey Harris, who stepped down after 32 seasons, 2 state titles and 637 career victories.
"It's a really humbling experience," Pope said. "You've got a coach like Coach Harris who's been here for such a long time and established a winning tradition and I feel just really fortunate to to be able to lead the next chapter of Lexington basketball."
A native of Huntersville, N.C. and graduate of Charlotte University, Pope arrives from West Davidson High School in Tyro, N.C. He coached the Dragons for 2 seasons, posting a 19-29 record and was named Central Carolina Conference Coach of the Year this past season after a 5-win improvement.
Pope previously served as athletics director and men's basketball coach at Mountain Island Lake Academy in Charlotte and as a junior varsity coach at Concord High School. In moving to the Palmetto State, Pope said his wife is a Spring Valley native and wanted to coach in an area closer to her family.
He takes over a Wildcats' program coming off a 29-1 season in which they set a school record with 29 straight wins, finished undefeated during the regular season for the 1st time, claimed the Region 5-5A title and finished Class 5A Lower State runner-up. Lexington also graduates 9 seniors, including All-State and Region 5-5A and All-Chronicle Co-Player of the Year Mason Carver.
Having previously coached at programs which were either new or had no previous success this century has prepared Pope for developing new talent.
"We'll be aggressive," he said. "I think no one will like playing Lexington. We'll going to be aggressive and we're going to make sure that they understand that when they come to play us or we come to play them, they're in for a fight. It's going to be a full game. You'll going to have to be ready."
Harris to coordinate
The Mount Horeb Basketball Coach, coordinator by Bailey Harris and his coaching staff, and for youngsters ages 6 to 12, is scheduled for June 24-27 at the Mount Horeb Basketball church in Lexington.
The 4-day came will include instruction and daily devotion and take place from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $80 per camper and payment can be sent to - Coach Bailey Harris, 405 St. Claire Place, Lexington, SC 29072.
From July 8-11, Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church will hold a youth basketball coach also coordinated by Harris. The cost is $85 per camper and payment can be sent to the same address.
Contact (803) 359-7770, extension 11 for more information.