Hobbs resigns as Forrest coach

Friday, March 13, 2015
Wes Hobbs gives the Rockets some late game instructions in a 61-57 win at Summertown on December 9. Photo by Anthony S. Puca

After four years on the bench, Wes Hobbs resigned as Forrest basketball coach on Tuesday, citing personals reasons.

"This was an extremely difficult decision to make, my entire tenure at Forrest I was blessed to have the support of our faculty, administrators, athletic director, parents, and assistant coaches and for that, I will be forever thankful," said Hobbs.

New outlook

"After many prayers and meaningful discussions with my family, I decided that this will be the right decision for me at this time. For me, it has always been God/Church, family, friends, and then job."

"I hope to take on a few more leadership roles at my church, spend more time with my wife and my mother (Sally Hobbs), who is retiring this year and just recharge my battery from the demands of trying to lead a successful basketball program."

Hobbs, the son of Tennessee Scholastic Sports Athletic Association Hall of Famer Wayne Hobbs, posted a 66-58 record as Rockets' coach and was named District 9-A coach of the year in 2013-2014.

Hobbs started his tenure in Chapel Hill in very good form, finishing in first place in the regular season standings with a 13-1 league record and a solid 24-9 overall mark.

Poignant moment

Wayne Hobbs passed away during his son's first season and it was one gesture by the Forrest faculty that stood out as a poignant moment in time for Hobbs.

"The one moment that I will probably remember the most came from my first year of coaching when I was in Pulaski for the funeral and it was obviously a tough time for my family and as I looked up, in walked the basketball team to the funeral as coach Delk and the principals had driven the players an hour down to Pulaski to be with me at the funeral," said Hobbs.

"I coached that night and they played their hearts out and we were able to win that first district game. Our team is always a family and that is moment I will never forget."

Although the Rockets lost in the district tournament final to Middle Tennessee Christian School (MTCS) they managed to advance to the Region 5-A semifinal before a season ending loss to McEwen in Cross Plains.

Forrest posted a 19-12 record in Hobbs' second season, good enough for just a third place finish.

The Rockets lost on the road in the region once again, this time at White House Heritage in the first round.

Strange season

The 2013-2014 season was a strange one indeed as the Rockets finished below .500 at 14-18 and ended up in fourth place in the district standings before sweeping Eagleville, MTCS, and Fayetteville to claim the District 9-A Tournament title.

"There are many memorable moments in my short tenure at Forrest and it would be easy to say the district championship win in 2014 where those guys worked so hard to peak at just the right time," said Hobbs.

The post-season road woes continued for the Rockets as they beat McEwen in the first round of the region tournament before losing 50-38 to the host East Robertson Indians.

In 2014-2015, the Rockets were in the rebuilding stage and really never got anything sustainable going, finishing the season with 9-19 record before making a quick first round district tournament exit.

"A coach's overall record is only as good as the players and I owe everything to them because as a coach, you try and put them in positions to be successful, but then it is up to them to reach that potential that you know they possess," said Hobbs.

"We have had some great moments where we have beaten some really good teams, but then you always have those games where you would give anything for a do-over. That is what makes this game fun to be a part of."

Search to start

The search for the next coach at Forrest will begin next week.

"We have not started the process yet," said Forrest Athletic Director Scott Delk. "After we get back to school next week coach Mac (High School principal Davy McClaran) will open up the search."

The Rockets will be looking to bounce back in 2015-2016 behind a strong group of returning players and a major influx from the middle school squad that currently holds both the Duck River Valley Conference regular season and tournament crowns.

Program's future

"I think the future is very bright for this program, we lose five seniors that were important contributors, but with us playing 10 or 11 players this year, we should have a little more experience than what we had going into this season," said Hobbs.

"And we have a strong group of young players coming from the middle school and the junior pro ranks, so I think there will be some very fun seasons ahead for the Rockets."

"I hate to see him go, I never had a problem with Wes as a coach," said Delk. "We are all still looking forward to having him here every day as a math teacher."