The Polk County Wildkittens have found their new head coach in former Lee University women’s assistant basketball coach Caleb Hindman.
Hindman, who is a graduate of Chattanooga Christian High School and Lee, been involved with the Lady Flames’ basketball program for the past seven years, and has served as an assistant coach under Lee women’s head coach Marty Rowe for the past two season.
He served as a graduate assistant for two years and was a student assistant for three years as well.
According to Polk County’s athletic director, Ronnie German, Hindman should bring about positive change for the basketball program.
“I’ve been around Caleb just about all of his life, and have watched him grow up into a fine young man. (He) has a lot of energy and will work well with what we’re trying to do here,” German commented. “I’m sure we will see some improvement over the years.”
While Hindman’s teaching assignment has not been determined yet, he is qualified to be a physical education teacher.
Last season the Wildkittens were 11-18 overall and 3-6 in District 5-AA. The team struggled offensively, and was outscored by its opponents 1,337-956 for the season.
Assistant coach Laura Swallows has stayed on and will work alongside Hindman.
Hindman is aware of the Wildkittens’ offensive struggles, and hopes to see those fade away with time.
“We’re going to keep things as simple as possible. I’m asking them to make easy shots — the layups and free throws,” Hindman stated.
In his first practice with the team, the new head coach met with 11 players, seven of whom were freshmen.
By the time the season starts, Hindman hopes to have the roster set with 10 or 11 girls.
Knowing that the team will “take some lumps” for the first couple of years, Hindman was optimistic about working with a younger team.
“Young players are impressionable and eager to listen. If I have a big core group of young kids, then I have something to build on,” Hindman explained. “I think we’ll be competitive in every game that we play in. I know we will have a bunch of freshmen, but as long as we play hard every night there’s no excuse for not being competitive.”
Additional information was provided by the Lee University Sports Information Department.