Carlisle Bison basketball coach William Rountree is the new girls basketball coach at Jacksonville High School.
Pulaski County Special School District athletic director Danny Ebbs, who previously served as Carlisle High School principal, confirmed the hire Monday night.
Rountree coached the Bison for eight years on two separate occasions. He replaces Katrina Mimms, who coached the Lady Red Devils to the Class 5A state title in 2013.
Rountree said he took the Jacksonville job for several reasons, one of which is that it’s a Class 5A job.
"It’s a program that obviously has had great success because they are coming off a state championship," Rountree said. "The Pulaski County School District is a large district monetarily. It’s a good salary increase. I’m reuniting with a great mentor and friend of mine in Danny Ebbs."
Rountree said he is looking forward to working with Jacksonville boys coach Victor Joyner, who is also coming off a state championship, as well as Jacksonville athletic director Jerry Wilson.
"It’s a very good situation to go in to and get to coach a team that plays at a high level," Rountree said.
Rountree said there also different employment opportunities for him in the future in the Pulaski County Special School District.
Ebbs said Jacksonville needed to build upon the tradition and thinks Rountree is the coach to do that.
"We’ve got a lot of good girls coming back," Ebbs said. "We’re very fortunate to get someone who has the work ethic that William has. We feel like he will be a great addition to the program."
Mimms resigned as coach in the spring following her team’s win over Paragould in the Class 5A state title game at Barton Coliseum in March.
"She real grew and matured during the course of the year," Ebbs said of Mimms. "I felt like that she did a really good job of handling her talent, substitutions. I saw them play 12 ball games this year. I watched her team develop. I thought she did a good job."
Rountree won three conference championships at Class 2A Carlisle, taking the Bison to three state tournaments during his eight-year tenure. Rountree also coached football, golf and baseball while at Carlisle.
"I’m very proud of what we accomplished [at Carlisle]," he said. "I had a lot of very good players here. I had a lot of kids who loved basketball. I’m very indebted to all those guys who played for me. I worked with great people."
Rountree said he had good working relationships with girls basketball coaches Toby Tevebaugh and Jonathan Buffalo during his time at Carlisle.
"I have a great friendship with Coach [Scott] Waymire," he said. "My family still has a presence in the community here. Both my stepsons graduated from here.
"The bottom line is I had great eight-year run here. I enjoyed it immensely. I’m still a viable member of the living community here. Professionally, I had gotten to a point where opportunity had stopped and had to look at something else, a better opportunity long-term for me as a coach, a prospective administrator and for my family."
Rountree said he had pursued some opportunities within the Carlisle School District. He had applied for the high school principal’s job when Jeff Cagle left and Waymire was hired. He said he also made it known this year that he was interested in the principal’s job when Waymire left for Trumann.
"I kind of had to take an inventory of where I was at age 47, where I wanted to be in the next eight to 10 years and put my family consideration as far as being a providing person, putting that at the top," he said. "It’s a great opportunity. It wasn’t one of those things that we planned out. It just happened.
"If I had gotten the principal’s job here, I would have stayed."
Rountree is married to the former Robin Glover. His two stepsons are John Robert and Chris Hart.