Zac Barringer will always appreciate his first varsity head-coaching experience.
The Pisgah alum recently stepped down after three seasons as the North Jackson varsity boys basketball coach.
“Definitely was blessed to have been given my first chance to be a head coach,” said Barringer, who was recently hired as an assistant coach at Hazel Green High School. “It’s always difficult for someone to hire someone that hasn’t been a head coach. I’ll always be grateful to Mr. (former North Jackson principal Rob) Paradise for giving me the chance.”
Barringer posted a 40-42 record at North Jackson with one Northeast Regional appearance — just the second in school history — and two sub-regional appearances.
The Chiefs finished 17-11 this past season — the 17 wins were tied for second most in a single season in program history — while winning a share of the Class 4A Area 14 regular-season title and hosting the area tournament before losing in sub-regional play at Oneonta.
North Jackson also won the regular-season area title in 2017-18 and advanced to the Northeast Regional after upsetting fourth-ranked Hokes Bluff 50-44 on the road in sub-regional play. The Chiefs fell to Handley 66-50 in the regional semifinals at Jacksonville State University.
“Beating Hokes Bluff and going to Jacksonville that year was pretty special,” Barringer said.
“Last year, we were a few wins away from the most (in a single season) ever. We did a lot of great things.”
Barringer coached Bridgeport’s middle school boys basketball team during the 2012-2013 seasons before working as an assistant coach at Pisgah in 2014 and at DAR from 2015-17. After taking the North Jackson job prior to 2017-18 season, he coached several of his former Bridgeport players during his first two seasons.
“That was pretty cool to get to circle back and coach some of those guys again,” Barringer said.
Barringer said he would pursue head-coaching opportunities in the future, but for now is excited about his new assistant role at Hazel Green.
The day Barringer’s resignation from North Jackson was made official, he received an offer to join the coaching staff at Hazel Green by head coach Jeremy Crutcher.
The two had become acquainted through the coaching ranks and “we talked a lot about defenses, pressing and trapping. Our philosophies about defense are alike. We’d talked about maybe working together someday. So I got the opportunity to go there and run his defense.”