Briarwood basketball coach Bobby Kerley steps down, will remain in other roles

Published 11:56 am Friday, April 14, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The Briarwood Lions are searching for a new head basketball coach after current head coach Bobby Kerley decided to step down from the position earlier this week to focus on other roles at the school and spend more time watching his own kids play the sport he loves.

Kerley shared the news with his team on Wednesday afternoon, April 12, saying how thankful he was to be the head basketball coach at Briarwood Christian School and the opportunity to impact players along the way.

“I wanted to thank you for being so supportive and for letting me coach your son in the game of basketball,” he said to the parents in a letter. “It is an honor and a privilege to do so. Your families have truly been a blessing to me.”

Kerley, who also serves as the football team’s offensive coordinator and the junior high principal, said the decision was purely a family decision so he could spend more time watching his daughter and son play the sport while also taking on more job duties in his administrative role.

In addition, he will still serve as the football team’s offensive coordinator under head coach Matthew Forester and will still help with the basketball team as time allows to make the transition to a new coach as easy as possible.

“I will continue to serve as junior high principal and as the offensive coordinator for the football team,” he said. “I will also do everything I can to love and support the wonderful basketball coaches and players here at BCS in any way I can. The future is bright with all the talent we have coming up through the program and the amazing men we have on staff leading our boys spiritually and physically through this game.”

Kerley thanked his assistant coaches Jeremy Mears, Clay Collie, Jackson Burdette, Paul Smith and Carson Peterson for their help in building the program during his tenure over the last 21 years as part of the basketball team.

He said he has three years with his daughter left at the high school and he’s looking forward to watching her play the game their whole family loves, as his wife is also the head coach of the girls team.

Lorie Kerley was named one of the county’s Coaches of the Year this year, sharing the honor with Pelham’s Crosby Morrison, while daughter Emma was named to the All-County team as a freshman.

In addition to that, his son will start seventh grade next year, and he hopes he’ll be able to enjoy watching him come through the program as well.

“I have really enjoyed my new role as an administrator here and look forward to investing in that position as well as coaching and supporting our athletic programs to the best of my ability,” Kerley said.

The athletic department said Mears will serve as the interim head coach for the varsity boys basketball team, while the position will be posted to see what candidates might surface.

A full vetting and interviewing process will take place to determine qualified candidates before any hire is made. No deadline has been set, but the team is looking to hold tryouts and set up a summer schedule soon.