Female Decker is boys’ skipper

Female Decker is boys’ skipper
Coaching high school boys’ basketball is no longer exclusively a man’s world.
Kim Decker, who starred on the prep level at Obion Central and later coached eight seasons at her alma mater, has been named the new boys’ coach at Dyersburg High School.
Decker — an assistant in the Trojan boys’ program last season — becomes the only female in rural West Tennessee to join a basketball coaching fraternity made up of all men, according to Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association representative Matthew Gillespie.
TSSAA Executive Director Ronnie Carter recalled there previously being a woman boys’ coach in East Tennessee several years ago but believes Decker will be the only person presently in that capacity.
Decker, who reportedly met with team members last week to gauge their feelings on her taking the post, replaces Dion Real, who resigned last week after just one season at the Trojan helm to take a similar position at Covington.
Among those team members was her son, Winn, a rising sophomore-to-be, who also plays baseball at Dyersburg High School.
Actually, Decker is returning to some of her coaching roots, having served as an assistant for two seasons to Willie Cole with the Dyersburg girls’ program in 1988 after breaking into the business with a year on the junior high level at Humboldt.
She led OCCHS to a 169-79 record during an eight-season tenure from 1994-2002, including a run of three consecutive state tournament appearances from ’97-99.
Six of her eight Lady Rebel clubs had winning records, and five of those won at least 20 games.
In her first head coaching challenge, Decker took the Lake County girls from the outhouse to the penthouse over a short four-year span from 1991-94.
Inheriting a club that won just three of 20 games the year before, the Lady Falcons went 28-3 and advanced to the Class A semifinals in her final season at the Tiptonville school in ’94.
Decker’s all-time head coaching record in 12 seasons on the girls’ level is 236-122, a winning percentage of .659.
She was a standout as Kim Whipple during her high school playing days and went on to enjoy a solid college hoop career at Lambuth University in Jackson.
Her husband, Paul, was likewise a high school star at Obion Central, shining in both football and baseball.
He currently is an assistant coach in both sports at Dyersburg.
The Deckers have two daughters in addition to a son, Kali and Ella Grace.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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