Bevill State head basketball coach Paul Johnson has stepped down from his position, and a familiar face will be stepping in to take the reins of the Bears? program.
Johnson, who came to Bevill State three years ago from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, is returning to NCAA Division I basketball after being named the assistant head coach at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., last week.
Johnson departs from the Bears after returning the team to national prominence by winning the 2007 ACCC state championship, the school?s first as a NJCAA Division I program. In his three seasons, Johnson compiled a record of 58-31.
Sliding over one seat on the bench to take over the BSCC program will be Josh Gulsby, who served as the Bears? assistant coach during the 2007-08 season. The post is Gulsby?s first as a collegiate head coach.
Prior to joining the Bears last year, Gulsby?s coaching experience was at the high school level in the Mobile area, with stops at Mary G. Montgomery High and Alma Bryant High. Gulsby also worked as a student assistant for the University of South Alabama.
?I am very excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach for the Bears,? Gulsby said. ?Bevill State has a strong basketball tradition that is very important to this community and I look forward to continuing that tradition in my new position.?
BSCC athletic director Russell Howton said Gulsby is a person of high integrity and a bright young coach.
?Josh will bring stability for the freshmen who are returning,? Howton said. ?Bevill State basketball has a tradition of excellence, and we expect Josh will keep that tradition going. He brings a lot of connections from Mobile and south Alabama, which has a wealth of basketball talent.
?We wish Coach Johnson well as he moves back to a four-year institution, and will always appreciate him for bringing another state championship to our program.?
As for next year?s outlook, Gulsby said he is ready to hit the ground running.
?We have a lot of returning players who saw quality minutes in games,? Gulsby said. ?With a solid recruiting class coming in, the program will be very strong next year.?