Draffenville – Martin Clapp has been named as Marshall County High School Head Girls’ Basketball Coach. Mrs. Amy Waggoner, Principal at MCHS made the announcement yesterday afternoon in a news conference/reception for Coach Clapp.
Coach Clapp is a Marshall County High School graduate, class of 1981, and was a standout basketball player during his high school career. Coach Clapp has nearly three decades of coaching experience at the colligate level in women’s basketball and in women’s professional basketball. He was head coach at University of Louisville for six years beginning in 1997. In 2003 he became head coach of the Birmingham Power pro team. In 2006 he was hired at University of Indiana as an assistant coach. Then in 2007 he went to Purdue University as an assistant coach and was there for five seasons. While he was at Purdue the team won three Big 10 Championships and had two Elite Eight appearances in the Women’s NCAA. He has also worked for Blue Star Scouting Service and has traveled throughout the US ranking prospective college basketball players.
Coach Clapp said that he preferred a fast pace style of play but he countered that statement by saying that the team you have is what determines how you play. He said, “I like up tempo, but you have to play with what you have got.” He said there were times when he had guards that weren’t suited to fast paced play so they tailored their game plan to fit the skills of their talent.
Coach Clapp has never coached high school girls. When he was asked what the biggest difference between coaching high school players and college players and he smiled and said, “Well you can’t recruit.”
When he spoke of his goals for the program Coach Clapp said his goal was to get the basketball program back to where it was when he played at Marshall County High School. During his opening comments after he was introduced he recalled the feeling it game him to look up from the floor and see that sea of orange in the stands.
Coach Clapp is the second of two former Marshall County players to be hired for head coaching positions at MCHS in recent weeks. Terry Birdsong was named head boys coach just a couple weeks earlier. Coach Clapp talked about when he, Birdsong and Shawna Smith played for Marshall County High School and how the boys and girls teams were close and that he wanted to reestablish that closeness between the teams.
With only one senior and a handful of juniors coming back next year Coach Clapp acknowledged that he and the girls would need some time to get to know each other. He said they had already talked about his goals for the team and some of the girls were a little wide eyed during the talk. Clapp said he was really a softie at heart but he could be hard when he needed to be. He said he and the team would be together soon. Lady Marshal Basket Ball Camp is just ahead.
Coach Clapp said, “I do feel so blessed. This is the perfect opportunity at the perfect time.”