2008-05-07 / Sports

Former Wildcat hoop standout named McCormick head coach

By LARRY HILLIARD Ledger Sports Editor larry@gaffneyledger.com

Ben Touchberry, shown during his playing days at Limestone College, has been hired as McCormick's new basketball coach. Ben Touchberry, shown during his playing days at Limestone College, has been hired as McCormick's new basketball coach. Ben Touchberry possesses one of basketball's best pedigrees.

McCormick apparently agrees.

Touchberry, the son of former longtime Blacksburg basketball head coach Jim Touchberry, has been hired as McCormick's new boys varsity basketball coach.

Ben, who met with his new team on Tuesday, interviewed for the job two weeks ago.

"I saw the job posted on the internet and I sent my resume and the athletic director contacted me," Touchberry said. "This is a tightknit community that loves basketball."

Ben said he's already received a few coaching pointers from his dad.

"He is really excited," Ben said. "He's happy for me that I'm branching out as a head coach. He's given me a lot of advice on how I need to address the kids and about stepping into a head coaching position."

Ben had been an assistant on the staff of another former Blacksburg basketball standout Jason McCraw at Chesnee High School.

"I had a great experience at Chesnee," he said. "Jason has been unbelievable to me with the things I've learned under him."

Touchberry said he will employ a fanfriendly up-tempo style.

"I will try to make it a 94-foot game," he said.

And he thinks he has the athletes to play that way.

McCormick's roster includes a 6-5 player that's ranked among the top 15 players in the state. The middle school program also is strong, he said.

"The future for basketball is bright here," he said.

Touchberry finished his career as Blacksburg's second-leading all-time scorer. He attended Presbyterian College for two years before wrapping up his playing career in 2005 at Limestone College.

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