Former D-B girls basketball coach France takes reins at Twin Springs

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KINGSPORT — The winningest coach in Dobyns-Bennett girls basketball history is reentering the coaching realm.

Roger France is Twin Springs’ new girls basketball coach.

“I’m looking forward to it,” France said Sunday. “It’s a big challenge. It’s a small school and very close-knit community. I’m just really looking forward to it.

“I had some folks ask me about it and we’ve talked about it for a while, and it’s just seems like a good opportunity.”

France replaces Brian Powers, who resigned in the spring after accepting another position in the school system.

The Lady Titans went 13-13 last season, reaching the Cumberland District tournament championship game and playing in the Region 1D tournament.

France coached Lady Indians hoops from 1996-2014 and amassed 287 wins, including a 23-7 mark in 2010-11 and a total of five seasons with 20 or more wins.

The coach grew up in Scott County and is a 1976 Rye Cove graduate. He plans to continue with his day job as a teacher at Kingsport’s Washington Elementary School.

HALL OF FAMER

Prior to his lengthy tenure at D-B, France coached at Hiwassee for seven years and guided the team to the NJCAA tournament in 1991.

France, who coached several all-region and All-America players at the school, was inducted into the Hiwassee Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.

EARLY YEARS

France started his coaching career in Wise County as an assistant to the late Tom Turner with the Appalachia football program.

France later spent seven years as an assistant football coach at Coeburn before becoming J.J. Kelly’s girls basketball coach.

After three years, France returned to Appalachia in 1987 and served as an assistant with both the football and basketball programs.

After his stint at Hiwassee, France coached for three years at Cleveland (Tenn.) before taking over at D-B.

MOVING FORWARD

France said he, like most other coaches, is not exactly sure what to expect with the upcoming basketball season, which will not begin until December because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the VHSL’s proposed guidelines, scheduled to be voted on later this week, basketball teams will be allowed to play only 14 games during a compressed regular season.

Whatever the season setup may be, France said it’s still basketball once the teams get on the floor and he’s excited about another opportunity to coach.



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