Dunbar picks UK staffer to coach girls

Timing right for Former Somerset star

jsmith3@herald-leader.comJune 24, 2010 

Amy Tilley has been playing basketball since she was 5 years old, and now she's going to live out her dream of coaching it.

The former Somerset standout was announced this week as the new girls' basketball coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar.

"I love the game," said Tilley, formerly Amy Honeycutt. "Coaching's been something I always dreamed of doing, but it's never been the right time in my life. This job was perfect timing."

Tilley has never been a full-time coach, but she's been spending long days with coaches in the Kentucky women's basketball office for the past couple of years as an administrative support associate.

There Tilley helped assistant coach Kyra Elzy with recruiting and also assisted with camp and clinic administration, according to the UK media guide.

Being part of the women's program at Kentucky has helped shape some of her coaching philosophies.

"Coach (Matthew) Mitchell stressed defense," Tilley said Wednesday night. "We'll be a defensive-minded team (at Dunbar). Defense will be key. ... Offense will come from in-your-face defense."

Andy Sirginnis, Dunbar athletic director, said Tilley's passion set her apart.

"We're very glad to have her," he said. "She gave a great interview. Her overall knowledge of the game was impressive and also her passion for the sport as a former athlete was really impressive."

The new coach has been introduced to the team, which returns several key players from this season's 20-7 team, but it will be without All-State forward Ebony Rowe, who is off to play college ball at Middle Tennessee State.

Tilley replaces Mike Sowers, who coached the past five seasons at Dunbar and finished with a record of 111-31 there. Sowers resigned in late April to take the head coaching job at Shelby County.

Tilley will join Chelsea Chowning (Lexington Catholic) and Justin Schommer (Henry Clay) as new girls' basketball coaches in the city next season.

Tilley, who also will teach business at Dunbar, admitted she's nervous about her first coaching position but excited, too.

"I'm ready for the challenge," she said. "This area's loaded with teams. The challenge of playing in (this) region — and the city in general — will be big."

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