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franklin county times

Tharptown, Vina hire last-minute basketball coaches

As basketball season gets ready to begin, Tharptown and Vina were able to address lastminute changes in their boys basketball coaching situations.

Tharptown lost newlyhired basketball coach Bobby Champagne to a 2021 NCAA Final Four team, the University of Houston. The former UNA head coach had been hired by Tharptown to replace Shannon Benford, who resigned at the end of this past year. Champagne was hired by Houston as head of basketball operations. He and Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson had a previous coaching relationship at the University of Washington.

In Champagne’s place, Tharptown turned to longtime Lawrence County basketball coach Sonny Conwill.

“We wanted to find someone who would be a good fit in the classroom, had head coaching experience and was a proven winner,” said Tharptown principal Bart Moss. “We feel like we found that in Coach Conwill.”

Conwill has 23 years of head coaching experience at Speake, Hatton and R.A. Hubbard. He took R.A. Hubbard to the Class 1A Final Four in 2018. He also has two Elite Eight appearances with Speake and Hatton. Conwill has won five area championships.

Randy Barnes has replaced Anthony Oliver as Vina’s head coach. Oliver, who left for Madison, replaced Chandler Allen. Allen left for Decatur soon after being hired. He had been hired to replace Talon Thomas, who resigned as Vina’s head coach at the end of the past year.

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