PREP BASKETBALL: Willoughby to take over Vinemont girls program

May 6—Emme Willoughby made a name for herself as a standout basketball player at Cold Springs.

She will now try to replicate that success on the hardcourt as a first-time varsity head coach.

Vinemont announced on Monday the hiring of Willoughby, who will take over the girls program following the resignation of James Brown last week. Brown, who guided the Eagles for six campaigns, including a 17-11 mark in 2023-24, will serve as a varsity boys assistant for coach Preston Boyd next season.

Principal Robin Netherton confirmed both moves to The Times in a text message on Sunday night.

"I'm excited that Vinemont can get the caliber of a coach like Emme Willoughby," he said. "Our program is in great hands and she has my support 1000 percent."

Willoughby no doubt possesses the bona fides to thrive in her new role.

She crafted a fine prep résumé at Cold Springs, finishing with 1,798 career points and corralling The Times' Player of the Year honor both her junior and senior seasons. She also garnered back-to-back All-State selections before playing four years at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Willoughby spent this past season coaching Vinemont's middle school girls.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to coach at Vinemont," she said. "Our school and community is a special place, and I hope to make a positive impact on our girls. We return an experienced group and are going to work really hard. I'm excited to get to work."