Panama City Beach, FL--It's safe to say James Baxley is not too happy about having to walk away from the Arnold boy's basketball program.
Baxley, who was hoping to coach at least another season or two there, was let go as the head coach at Arnold a couple of weeks ago.
But after he guided the Arnold summer program based on the thought he would likely coach at least one more season, Arnold principal Keith Bland though decided to make a change, hiring Bobby Britton from Mosley, where he was the j.v. coach.
Baxley telling me today he's disappointed to be out of the job, especially given he would have 6 seniors on the team, and they were coming off a very good summer session. So his expectations for the team were very high.
Baxley says he's proud of his 8 year run in the program, he was the first coach to have a winning program there, and overall his record 111-103. Impressive given for awhile, the Marlins shared a district with powerhouse programs like Rickards, Godby and East Gadsden.
James says he's most proud of the 7 players who went on to play in college with scholarships in hand. He says getting a degree really affects a young person's life, so playing at Arnold was a positive effect on those lives.
He also feels like he built something at Arnold, reflecting on something Marianna coach Travis Blanton told him a couple of years ago, quote "it used to be everyone wanted to play Arnold, now nobody wants to!" unquote.
Coach Britton by the way is 24, he is a graduate of Mosley and Faulkner University.