former coach at Riverdale
Cory Barrett, who won a girls basketball state title at Riverdale, only to resign after his most recent team "tanked" a tournament game, has been hired as the new coach of the Lebanon High Devilettes.
In 2013 Barrett led RHS to a record of 35-0 and the 2013 Class AAA state champion as well as mythical ESPN and MaxPreps national championships.
He amassed a 82-15 record over the course of three seasons at the Murfreesboro school after having enjoyed success in a five-year tenure at Class AA Hickman County High.
Counting his time at Hickman County, Barrett's teams have won 171 games while losing 86 -- a winning percentage of .665.
Barrett was introduced to the Devilettes Monday during the LHS lunch period.
"I spent hundreds of hours on the phone talking to people all across the state about Cory because I wanted to make sure this was right," said Lebanon High athletic director / assistant principal Darian Brown.
"After those conversations, it became very clear to me that he's the right person for Lebanon High. Not a single person I talked to had anything negative to say about him."
"I'm just so very thankful," Barrett said after meeting with his new team Monday.
"I didn't know with the situation (at Riverdale) how things were going to play out. What happened at Riverdale was so unfortunate, but it doesn't define who I am.
"I'm so excited that Darian has given me this opportunity. Do I have something to prove -- absolutely! My fire has grown bigger and I'm ready to get going."
His Riverdale team was removed from the TSSAA playoffs after a 55-29 loss to Smyrna in the District 7-AAA consolation game -- a contest in which neither team appeared to put forth a legitimate effort in order to draw a more favorable regional matchup.
Coach Barrett was suspended from coaching by the Rutherford County Director of Schools and his team was removed from the playoffs by the TSSAA.
Upon his resignation, Barrett issued the following statement:
"Like most other high school coaches, coaching is my profession and my livelihood, but not because of the money. I am a coach because I love the game, the opportunity to help the girls grow, and the opportunity to share in the success and/or failure from that growth.
"Those girls are like family, and I have diligently worked to help them grow both on and off the court. The fact that opportunities for greater success were taken from my girls this year was devastating.
"I take full responsibility for this and for the punishment placed on my girls. I am a husband, a father and a coach, and, rest assured, these actions have taught me one of the toughest lessons in life to date."
Prior to coaching at Hickman County, Barrett, 40, worked as a student assistant for Rick Insell at Middle Tennessee State.
He also spent five years (2001 through 2006) in the Wilson County School system teaching and coaching middle school girls at Watertown while assisting with the Tigerettes varsity program under the direction of Jeff Luttrell -- who is now the principal at WHS.
Barrett takes over the Lebanon High program after the late April resignation of Courtney McFarland.
McFarland had served three years as the LHS head coach before stepping down due to family considerations.
Her record at Lebanon was 38-48 over three seasons -- a winning percentage of .441.