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South Lakes Names Greene, Kemmerer Basketball Coaches

South Lakes has hired long-time assistant basketball coaches Irvin Greene and John Kemmerer as its new varsity basketball coaches.

In a meeting today with South Lakes Athletic Director Linda Jones, Greene and Kemmerer accepted a co-coaching position for the 2009-2010 season, according to Greene.

"We really haven't defined [co-coaches] yet, so we still have to figure out what our roles are going to be," said Greene, an assistant coach at South Lakes for past 21 years.

Kemmerer has been an assistant for the past eight years.

The two will look to fill the void left by Darryl Branch, who was fired last week after he was allegedly involved in a very public domestic dispute that resulted in a series of emails from concerned witnesses to Jones and South Lakes Principal Bruce Butler. Multiple sources confirmed the dispute. Branch did not return multiple calls for comment, however, he sent a mass text message last week describing his passion and respect for South Lakes basketball.

A South Lakes alumnus, Branch was 31-15 in two seasons at the school, which is one of the more storied basketball programs in Northern Virginia. Over the past two years, Branch’s teams went 20-8 in the Virginia AAA Liberty District.

Branch had the unenviable task of replacing legendary coach Wendell Byrd, for whom South Lakes renamed its gymnasium last year.

Byrd led the Seahawks to a 441-153 record (.742 winning percentage), 12 district titles, six region titles, six state tournament appearances and twice guided the Reston school into the Virginia AAA state final (1999, 2003). Byrd also coached such local greats as Grant Hill, Dennis Scott and Joey Beard.

I spoke with Byrd today just to make sure that he wasn't planning to come off the bench for a year to serve as an interim coach at the program he helped make a force in Northern Virginia.

"The only bench I'm getting off of is my couch," said Byrd, who quickly ruled out the idea. "I had a lot of fun at South Lakes but I left at the right time for me and my family."

Byrd now runs a successful non-profit Readers Are Leaders, which promotes education, leadership, sportsmanship, character, and citizenship for all student athletes.

By B.J. Koubaroulis  |  October 19, 2009; 7:33 PM ET
Categories:  AAA Concorde District , AAA Liberty District , AAA National District , AAA Patriot District  
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