Girls Varsity Basketball · Florence hires Will Copeland to coach girls basketball

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Will Copeland is the newest head coach of the Florence High girls basketball program, athletic director Byron Graham told the TimesDaily on Tuesday night.

Graham said Copeland’s hiring was voted on at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Copeland has most recently coached the boys basketball team at Sylacauga.

“I’m very thankful and honored to be hired in this position by the Florence City Schools Board of Education,” Copeland said in a press release. “Thank you Dr. (Jimmy) Shaw, Dr. (Rod) Sheppard and Coach (Byron) Graham for this opportunity to serve as a teacher and the head varsity girls basketball coach at Florence High School.

“I am excited to get home to Florence and get to work.”

Copeland’s Aggies won the 2018 Class 5A state championship over Eufaula. It was the team’s first state title since 1988, and Copeland was named 2018 Class 5A boys basketball coach of the year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.

His 2017 team was a state semifinalist and lost to eventual 5A state champ Mae Jemison. Last year’s Sylacauga team nearly made the program’s third straight state tournament appearance but lost 59-58 to Ramsay in the Southeast Regional final.

Copeland takes over for Marc Johnson, who coached Florence’s girls for eight seasons. Florence’s girls last qualified for the Northwest Regional tournament in 2015.