Wilson to return to Crestwood's girls program he built

By DENNIS BRUNSON dennis@theitem.com
Posted 8/15/19

After two difficult seasons as the boys basketball head coach at Crestwood High School, Tony Wilson is going back to the girls program that he built into a power in the 3A classification.

Wilson, who coached the Lady Knights for 11 seasons before …

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Wilson to return to Crestwood's girls program he built

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After two difficult seasons as the boys basketball head coach at Crestwood High School, Tony Wilson is going back to the girls program that he built into a power in the 3A classification.

Wilson, who coached the Lady Knights for 11 seasons before moving to the boys program when Dwayne Edwards stepped down, went 8-38 in his two seasons with the boys. The Knights were 4-19 each year and was winless in region play both years.

Wilson is being replaced by Aric Samuel, who led Hartsville High to consecutive 3A state titles in 2012-13.

"I just think it's a better fit for me to coach the girls," Wilson said. "I think I can help get it to the next level. I feel pretty good about it, going back to what I was doing, coaching girls."

And Wilson did a tremendous job in building the Crestwood girls program. He posted a 208-75 record, making the state playoffs in his last nine years in charge.

The Lady Knights went 6-14 in his first season and 10-12 his second year. After going 13-10 and having the Lady Knights make their first playoff appearance in his third season, Crestwood went 23-5 in his fourth season and won his first playoff game. The Lady Knights won 20 or more games in seven of his last eight seasons.

Crestwood won or shared the region title the last seven years. The Lady Knights played for the state title in the 2013-14 season.

Wilson took the boys job when Dwayne Edwards stepped down to solely handle athletics director duties. Wilson knew it wasn't going to be an easy task because of the players that were lost.

"I knew we'd be in a rebuilding process," Wilson said. "We lost Ja (Morant, who was recently the No. 2 overall pick in the National Basketball Association draft) from that team, and several other good players. I knew it would take some time to build it, but it was an opportunity for me.

"I just looked at it, and I think it is now better for me coaching the girls."

The Crestwood girls went 19-4 in their first year under Larry Crosby, sharing the Region VI title with Hartsville before losing in the second round of the 4A state playoffs.

Crestwood went 11-13 last year, having its string of region titles snapped at eight.