Coaching By Chance-ry: Chancery coaching Jags
Published 4:00 am Saturday, December 25, 2010
Brett Chancery is a history teacher at Hillcrest High School in Evergreen, but it was a history lesson he learned during his job search that he values the most.
Chancery is a 2004 graduate of W.S. Neal High School and a 2008 graduate of the University of Mobile. He was married Dec. 13, 2008 to the former Jeni Coale who he calls his biggest supporter.
After Chancery graduated from college in Mobile, Jeni was still attending the University of Mobile herself so Chancery thought the best job for him would be in Mobile County.
“So I prayed that God would open a door for me in Mobile County,” Chancery said. “God, however, closed that door, so I prayed, ‘Lord, if I can’t have a job in Mobile County, give me one in Baldwin County.’ Living in Baldwin County would still keep me close enough to Mobile where Jeni could finish her degree. Yet, God closed that door as well.”
Chancery said he didn’t understand what God was doing so he prayed again.
“‘Lord, don’t worry about Escambia County because it is too far away,’” Chancery said. “God then provided me with a job in Conecuh County even further from Mobile. I did not understand why God led me to Conecuh County when I needed to be in Mobile, but after my first year, I finally realized God knew best all along.
“He did give me the job I needed.”
As Mobile and Baldwin counties both faced severe fiscal cutbacks including teachers’ jobs, Escambia also faced these cutbacks to some extent. Many first-year teachers were released from their contracts.
“When God placed me at Hillcrest, He gave me just what I needed,” Chancery said. “I learned a personal history lesson that year: God’s plans are always better than mine.”
After getting the job at Hillcrest, Chancery said he was approached about taking on a job with the boys basketball team.
“Coach Roberts, the varsity boys’ coach, approached me last year about coaching basketball,” Chancery said. “I was not in a position to accept at the time. Prior to the season this year, however, I asked Coach Roberts if he was still needing some help. I then accepted the position as an assistant coach at Hillcrest.”
Chancery said coaching the young men at Hillcrest has been a rewarding experience.
“I have always enjoyed the sport, but the most rewarding aspect of coaching is undoubtedly getting to know and invest in the students themselves,” he said. “Each player brings his own talents and gifts to the team and has his own needs. My goal as their coach goes beyond just teaching the fundamentals of the games.
“I hope to help develop their character both on and off the court.”
On the court this season, Chancery and the Jaguars are 6-5.
“Unfortunately, our record does not reflect the level of talent we have,” Chancery said. “In the games we lost, we have competed well but come up short. We have lost by four points, three points, and even in overtime. We are working to correct the little details that make big differences (i.e. layups, free throws, etc.).”
Prior to the Hillcrest job, Chancery fulfilled his student teaching internship requirements at W.S. Neal High School.
While there, he assisted in coaching W.S. Neal’s tennis teams on a volunteer basis.
Besides teaching and coaching at Hillcrest, Chancery is also involved in ministry.
“I am currently an interim pastor for a church in the Flomaton area,” Chancery said. “I am also working on my master’s of arts degree in history at the University of South Alabama. I will hopefully graduate by next fall.”
Chancery said that he has always shown an interest in coaching and certainly hopes to continue being involved with the Jaguar athletic program.
“Throughout my experiences in education, most coaching teachers have been good at either coaching or teaching,” Chancery said. “I hope to be successful both in the classroom and on the court.
“These qualities are rare, but I hope to continue my own development as a teacher and a coach.”