HARRODSBURG—The Mercer County Athletic Department is pleased to announce the hiring of Josh Hamlin as the new boys basketball coach. Hamlin met with players early Thursday morning.
Hamlin is not a new face to the district or athletic department; he’s worked in Mercer County in various capacities for three years. In the 2016-2017 basketball season, he served as an assistant coach for the Mercer County Lady Titans, the 2017 KHSAA Girls Basketball State Champions. Prior to that landmark season, Hamlin worked as an assistant in the Mercer County boys basketball program. He is also an English teacher at King Middle School.
Prior to his time at Mercer County, Hamlin also worked as a student assistant at Georgetown College and a graduate assistant at Eastern Kentucky University. He later worked for the middle school and varsity basketball programs in Montgomery County.
In making the hire, Athletic Director Donald Wayne Smith said Hamlin embodied several qualities he and the hiring committee were looking for in a coach.
“As a program, we’re looking for the best coach possible, as well as stability. Coach Hamlin, among other qualities, represents those attributes. He’s a talented, knowledgeable, and passionate individual that brings so much to the table. We are so fortunate to have such a strong candidate that is already in our system and has worked in our programs,” said Smith
Hamlin is thrilled at the opportunity to lead the Titans.
“My family and I are truly appreciative of this opportunity,” said Hamlin. “Sara (wife), Knox (son), and I love the community of Harrodsburg and the Mercer County School System. From a young age, I have dreamed of this opportunity. After speaking to my dad, he echoed that it was awesome to see me achieve a dream that I set for myself at an early age.”
Ready to get started and hit the ground running, Hamlin was clear in his goals for the program. He wants his players to compete on all levels and in all places.
“One goal of our program is going to be to compete in everything we do. We are going to compete on the basketball floor and in the weight room to become better players. We are going to compete in the classroom to become better students. Another one of our goals is to become great teammates and community members,” said Hamlin. “The game of basketball is such a great learning opportunity for our kids. It teaches them about teamwork, communication, dependability, and accountability.
All of these attributes will carry with them throughout the remainder of their lives and into being productive members of our community.”
“Another goal for our program is enjoying the moment and understanding the present. We are going to have great opportunities ahead of us this year and in the future. The players need to understand how special these moments are, and that all the preparation that they put in will be rewarded in the end by taking each game, practice, and day for that day. Trusting the process and culture that is going to be put into place will be a huge goal that we look to achieve this year and into the future.”
Hamlin cites several aspects of the Mercer County community as supplying additional fuel for his excitement in leading the program.
“My family and I love Harrodsburg and Mercer County. This is where my wife and I have lived since we have been married. Our son has grown up here. We have developed some great relationships with some wonderful people here,” said Hamlin. “My family and I think this is a special place filled with supportive and hard working people. We love the small town community feel of Harrodsburg and the school system. That is very important to my wife and I because that is the environment that we were raised in. We love attending all the sporting events and watching our student-athletes represent Mercer County. My wife and I call Harrodsburg home, and knew that if this opportunity presented itself we would be fortunate to get a job in a community like Harrodsburg and a school system like Mercer County.”
Hamlin wished to thank several groups and individuals for giving him the opportunity to helm the program.
In addition to his wife and son, he thanked Smith, the interview committee, the Mercer County Board of Education, as well as Lady Titans Basketball Coach Chris Souder and his team.
“I would also like to thank my mentor and friend Coach Chris Souder. Coach Souder has taught me a lot over my past three years here at Mercer County. They took me in last year and accepted me as one of their own. They are a special group of girls who I wish nothing but continued success towards. I can’t wait to watch their journey unfold this year”
Hamlin also thanked his parents, Jeff and Gina Hamlin, for their help and guidance.
A public reception and press event will be scheduled at a later date.