However, FHS principal Dr. John Bartlett and athletic director Donald Dodgen spoke glowingly of J.P. Burris, 31 — having lured away their new Admirals skipper from rival Hardin Valley Academy.
“When we found out coach (Jon) Higgins was resigning, I started reaching out to people I knew in the basketball community,” Bartlett said to the basketball players, who gathered in the school’s library to hear and meet their new coach Thursday afternoon, Aug. 11. “I got names from different people. Coach (Dodgen) did the same, different people.
“And one of the consistent names from everybody sending names was J.P. Burris,” he added. “One thing they said was, ‘He fits your culture, he fits Farragut, he fits what you believe. ...’
“He stands for what I believe in, OK, so he’s a coach from my heart. He knows basketball and he knows it well. And he knows young men.”
Under Burris, “He’ll demand you be the hardest-working basketball team on the court, no matter who we play,” Bartlett said. “When the ball’s loose, we’ll be down first to get it.”