October 15, 2018
By: Dwayne Page
After two years as head coach of the Rhea County High School girls basketball squad, Darvin Gill is gearing up for his third season and is hoping the ball bounces in the right direction.
The Smithville native took over the program in 2016 and last year compiled a 25 win season. The Lady Golden Eagles were runners up in District 6AAA and advanced to the region semi-finals.
“I have been blessed with a really great group of players since I have been here. We have been a high scoring, high fast paced squad. Last year we scored 66 points per game and finished as the 8th highest scoring girls team in the state,” said Coach Gill.
This year’s schedule is perhaps a bit tougher but Coach Gill said he is hoping that it helps make his team better as the season progresses and especially by post-season time.
“I lost a fantastic group of seniors from last year. One of them was a starter and has moved on to play at Lee University in Cleveland. I have four returning starters. Out of those, three are juniors and one is a sophomore. I have beefed up the schedule this year adding a couple of top five teams in the state out of Memphis. I want to put us in a position to be a better team. We may not have the same win total as last year but the ultimate goal is to move further in the post season,” said Coach Gill.
From 2007 to 2015, Gill was an assistant to head girls basketball coach Michael Dodgen at Cannon County High School before the two of them left for White County High School in the same roles. Prior to joining the Cannon County program, Gill served as an assistant to former DCHS girls head basketball coach Victor Harrison in 2004-05. This is Gill’s first high school head coaching job.
“It has been very much a blessing. Shane Johnston, a Rhea County native, took over the program a few years ago and resurrected it. A year after he gave up coaching to move to the central office, I was fortunate to get the job. It is definitely something I wanted to do and I am grateful to my administration here. He (Johnston) laid the groundwork and was instrumental in getting the program back in the right direction. I am trying to get them to another level now,” said Coach Gill.
Gill is a 1994 graduate of DeKalb County High School and he furthered his education at MTSU earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with concentrations in coaching and recreation administration. At Rhea County, Coach Gill works in a program serving special needs students with disabilities.
Rhea County High School is located near Dayton, Tennessee at Evensville. District 6AAA is made up of Rhea County, Stone Memorial, Cookeville, Warren County, and White County High Schools.