The passing of the girls basketball torch is complete at Ocoee Middle School.
OMS Principal Ron Spangler announced Thursday the hiring of Lee University star Lady Flame Hollie German and longtime area coach Ed Coates will take over the sixth-grade Lady Colts basketball program.
The hirings came just two days after OMS tabbed former Lady Mustang and Tennessee Wesleyan Lady Bulldog Mindy Cox as eighth-grade Lady Colts coach and overseer of the OMS basketball program.
"Mindy will oversee the entire program, sixth, seventh and eighth grades. We now have the passing of the torch from Joe (Spencer) to the new basketball program at Ocoee Middle," said Spangler. "This completes our girls basketball program with Hollie, Ed and Mindy working with our three grades."
German fulfilled her eligibility allotment at Lee University with the completion of the 2013-14 basketball season and will take a student teacher's position at OMS in the fall.
After the completion in December with her first year of duties as OMS coach, German plans to take up graduate studies at Lee.
"As she does her student teaching here we are going to let her help out with our basketball program. Having her to be a part of our program as well as being at Lee is plus for us," said Spangler.
Coates is no stranger to coaching a multitude of sports from high school to college. He has already been a part of the OMS basketball program as a boys coach and agreed to become a part of the Ocoee Middle girls basketball tradition.
"Ed has been with our boys basketball program, but having the ability to work with Hollie and Mindy is giving me another avenue of adding a veteran coach to the program who has been in the ranks here. Having two new people like Hollie and Mindy coming on staff, Ed can give them help they may need on the organization or working with parents, fundraisers and such."
While staying close to the program, Spencer will keep his fingers in the OMS basketball cookie jar as winter sports athletics director.
"Joe gives me the ability go keep his hands on the basketball program as winter sports AD. I think it's a win-win situation for our entire staff," said Spangler.
The German-Coates combination will share coaching responsibilities for the Lady Colts and will work with Spencer to see the program retains its status as one of the top programs around.
"We feel like we have three people here who can keep up a very successful girls basketball program," Spangler stated. "They both bring so much to the table with Hollie and her skills and her playing abilities.
"Ed has solid background in basketball in men's and now girls basketball. I've asked him to help solidify our girls program for a while."