New UC hoop assistant has familiar traits

New UC hoop assistant has familiar traits
New UC hoop assistant has familiar traits

Preston Barbee
It takes one to know one.
Calling him “very demanding” and “someone who expects a lot of the same things I do,” Union City head boys’ basketball coach Shane Sisco says new assistant Preston Barbee should be a good fit for the Tornado hoop program.
“He’s only been with us for two days, but I can already tell he’s going to provide us with energy and enthusiasm, and he’s going to have high expectations of the kids in the effort department,” Sisco said of his new helper on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Barbee was hired to fill the void left when Michael Hart departed the Twister program after two seasons in that role to accept the head coaching job at Gibson County High School this spring.
Barbee will join Sisco’s father and UCHS hoops coaching legend Marty on the Union City bench next season.
The new Tornado aide is a Dyersburg native, having played on the prep level at DHS, then two years at Dyersburg State Community College. He received his B.S. degree from Middle Tennessee State University.
Barbee’s coaching resume consists of three seasons at Dyer County High School, the first two years under Pete Froeden, the last on the Choctaw staff of Derek McCord.
He spent 2007-08 as a teacher-only at Northview Middle School in Dyer County, but acknowledged he had aspirations of being a head coach someday soon and running his own program.
For now, he’ll be the head freshman and jayvee coach in addition to his assistant varsity duties at Union City.
And he agreed that he shares many of the same philosophies of the highly-successful younger Sisco, whose led UC to a pair of Class 1A state titles the last three years — including a perfect 37-0 mark during this past basketball season.
“I see a lot of simil-arities in the way we think, and I’m excited to have the chance to work with the two Sisco’s. They’re coaching legends with the success they’ve had at Union City,” Barbee told The Messenger. “It’s a great opportunity for me, and after I’d heard Coach (Michael) Hart was leaving, I became very interested in the job.
“I feel like I’m a disciplinarian, but that I can relate to the guys and am a good communicator. I’m sure I’ll bring something a little bit different to the mix, but just as important, I plan on being a sponge and picking up on a lot of things that have made Union City so successful in the past several seasons.”
For his part, Sisco said it was obvious in their limited time together that Barbee was “onboard and ready to go.”
“He has gone right to work doing a lot of the same things we’ve regularly done over the nine years that I’ve been here. He expects the kids to play hard, and when you’re looking for someone to add to your staff, you always look for someone who believes in a lot of the same things that you do. And from what I see, Coach Barbee and I are a lot alike.”
UCHS Principal and Athletic Director Barry Duncan was pleased to be able to add to his staff and faculty a young and energetic coach.
“I’m excited at what I believe Coach Barbee will bring to the table to both our basketball program and our school as a whole,” Duncan said. “I expect his contributions to be centered around positive energy and a good work ethic, and I believe he’ll be a team player for all our athletic programs.”
Barbee will teach physical education in the Union City school system.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at

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