High School Basketball

Henry Clay's new girls' basketball coach eager to lay foundation

A few days after being named girls' basketball coach at Henry Clay, Eric Sanford held his first practice with the team on Monday.

"We're hitting the ground running," said Sanford, whose first head coaching position is a goal achieved.

"I've wanted the opportunity to be head of a program, put my imprint on it and make it successful."

Sanford, 31, replaces Justin Schommer, who was the Blue Devils' coach for one year.

Sanford played for Henry Clay in the late 1990s and was an assistant to boys' coach Daniel Brown the last three years.

Sanford's background also includes working for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati and helping with middle school basketball programs in Lexington.

He said his basketball philosophy is based on "being strong defensively, being a good rebounding team, and always being good teammates."

Sanford's long-term goal is to bring back the success that Henry Clay's girls enjoyed in the early 1990s, when they were a state powerhouse. "But first we've got to establish a foundation and a consistency in coaching," he said.

Sanford hopes to get Demetria Bright to join his staff. Bright was an All-Stater at Henry Clay as a junior and senior in 1989 and '90. She played college hoops at Iowa.

Sanford hasn't coached girls before, but he welcomes the chance. "I think they listen a lot better than boys," he said with a laugh.