SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Sylacauga head boys basketball coach William Copeland has been named new head girls basketball coach at Florence High School.

In a statement Tuesday night, Copeland told The Aggie Sports Network and SylacaugaNews.com: “My family and I are very excited to be going to where I was born and raised, Florence, Ala. We are leaving a great school system for another. I am thankful for Matt Hubbard and Matt Griffith for giving me an opportunity six years ago. The last six years have been great with Coach Joel Jones and these players … great memories that I will never forget. We loved our time in Sylacauga, but this opportunity to be closer to family and help my family financially is something we couldn’t pass up.”

Sylacauga High School head football coach and Athletic Director Matt Griffith complimented Copeland’s achievement, tenure, coaching, and teaching style while at Sylacauga High School.

“We hate to see him leave,” he said. “Will has come in and done a tremendous job for us. There’s just not that many times that you get an opportunity to get that big of a pay raise and you’re that close to home.”

Griffith credited great success to boys basketball under Copeland who alongside Jones reached the Sweet Sixteen, Final Four, State Championship, and Elite Eight in the last four years.

“We were a Final Four team before Will got here. And we were a Sweet Sixteen before that guy got here. We have a tremendous basketball program and we’re going to hire the right guy.”

While there is not yet a prospect to replace Copeland, Griffith said the job will be posted and applications will be submitted. Eight to ten finalists will be evaluated and then dropped down to three. It will then be discussed between Griffith, Superintendent Dr. Jon Segars, and SHS Principal Chad Murphy.

“It’s not necessarily the best coach out there that you’re looking for. It’s the best fit for our school and our basketball program … sometimes I think people make a mistake and they get the best coach and it never fit for your community. You have to find the right fit.”

Since 2013, Copeland held a 128-61 overall record at Sylacauga High School. In the last four years, he went 101-32.

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