It’s not every day a former high school athlete has the opportunity to return to his alma mater as the head man.
For Jerry Barlow, the opportunity has become reality as he was named as the new boy’s basketball at Northwest High School. Barlow replaces Rick Scarberry who retired at the end of last season.
“I pretty excited about getting this opportunity now that Rick has decided to step down,” Barlow said.
The former Mohawk player has college playing and coaching experience under his belt. After graduating from Northwest in 1999, Barlow spent a year playing at Presbyterian College in South Carolina before transferring back to Rio Grande to finish his playing days.
After finishing his playing career, Barlow coached junior varsity girls basketball at Northwest before going to Shawnee State University, where he coached under Jeff Hamilton for parts of four seasons.
After leaving SSU, Barlow became an assistant coach under Scarberry with the Mohawks. So, even though he is a first time head coach, Barlow has a long-standing familiarity with the traditions at Northwest.
“I’m very familiar with the situation, the area and the community,” Barlow said. “A lot of people know me and I know a lot of people out there. I’m excited about it. We have a good situation. We have five seniors coming back and we have a strong freshman class coming up next year, I’m excited about that class as well.”
Barlow expects to begin his career on a strong note thanks to his predecessor.
“That transition is going to be a lot easier than if Rick would have stepped down after one more year and his boy would have graduated along with those other seniors,” Barlow said. “The first year of my tenure should be a little more stout.”
Even though Barlow is excited about his team, he knows there will be challenges ahead. He has already reached his first hurdle and he has every intention of clearing that hurdle before the season begins.
“Right now, with the position I’m in, my biggest challenge will be getting my kids to believe they can win,” Barlow said. “It’s been an up and down situation. We’ve won 13 ball games over the last three years combined.”
“I want them to do more than show up and put the time in, I want them to come in and work, and believe they are capable of competing against good teams.”
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @crslone.