By Joe Henricksen

Lamont Bryant hired at Hyde Park

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By Joe Henricksen

Lamont Bryant, who led Marshall to prominence and has spent the last two years as coach at South Shore, is back at a high-profile Chicago Public League basketball program. Bryant will replace Donnie Kirksey as head coach at Hyde Park.

"We wanted a seasoned guy, someone who could hit the ground running," says Hyde Park principal Thomas Trotter, a former Division I head basketball coach. "We found that guy in Lamont Bryant. We wanted someone with a reputation as a winner, who will bring discipline, experience and toughness."

Bryant had a marvelous four-year run at Marshall, where he compiled a 108-23 record. He also took a pair of teams to the Elite Eight, with his 2006 and 2007 teams both finishing third in the state. The 2006 team, led by the trio of Ryan Hare, Michael Stovall and Darius Smith, finished 30-2 but fell to Simeon and Derrick Rose in the state semifinals.

"I feel rejuvenated," says Bryant, who adds he appreciates the opportunity given to him by Trotter and assistant principal Antonio Ross. "I have the chance to come after Donnie [Kirksey] who set the stage for me. He started it and has passed the torch. There is a lot to like about Hyde Park and I'm excited."

Although controversy did follow Bryant at Marshall, where a firestorm erupted when he was fired just prior to the start of the 2007-2008 season, Trotter is enthusiastic about the veteran coach having 20 years in education.

"Basketball was a small part of this hire, really," says Trotter. "There were a lot of great candidates who were interested in this job, but we came up with what we feel is the best guy to replace coach Kirksey. We believe he can do some things in our building that is important for our student body."

Now Bryant gets a shot as coach of a program that is designed for success. Kirksey lifted the program to a new level and left it in great shape with the return of 6-5 senior Aqui Shareef and a host of talented young players, including junior guard Treyshawn Jones. Many believe Hyde Park is a sleeping giant in the CPS, with location, academics and recent success all a plus. Bryant will instill discipline, with his direct approach, while also bringing a style of play that will surely result in an attacking-type of pressure and defense.

"Strap your seatbelt on," says Bryant of the up-tempo and attacking style his teams are known for.

In addition, Bryant is someone coaching and teaching in the Chicago Public League. Bryant has been a part of the education system for 21 years with classroom teaching experience. He is a coach who can preach education to his players and students in the school as he has a high school, college and teaching degree. That impact should not be lost in the hiring of Bryant.

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This is actually a good hire. Bryant has the personality that fits the tough Hyde Park area. He will be successful there. Word on the street is he's already had a conversation with sports director Calvin Davis and they are on the same page. This is great for Bryant because Davis can provide support in many ways. Most people don't know it, but Davis's office finances all downstate trips amd expenses in support of all CPS teams who advance to the state tournament. Bryant has a shot to go down again after doing it two consecutive years at Marshall. If not for Derrick Rose he could have 2 state titles instead of two third place finishes. Bryant is fiery and knows how to get the most out of his kids. He was a winner at Whitney Young also and has a great winning percentage for his career. Good luck coach Bryant!

A perfect choice! Lemont and I played together year's ago.I was in Cali when I seen that he was on the list.Lemont love's the game.He know's how the game suppose to be played.When I was a plyer/coach we went 14 and 0.Lakefront....Trotter,knows the game he was a very talented player himself.I am so glad for you Lemont I will be attending your games in your up-coming season...Hyde Park....made a great'all we soon see...E.

This is positive news, think of it, the Principal of Hyde Park is a former Division 1 Coach, and the previous coach, Coach Kirksey helped restore the program, and now he is rewarded with a return to the college ranks.
Lamont Bryant, what he did at Marshall was great, there is no point rehashing what happened, when you can coach, you get rewarded with a special coaching assignment, look for Hyde Park to have that Simeon, Whitney Young, feel to their program with Bryant at the helm, he is a winner, and a great mentor for the youth of Chicago, he isn't going around saying, we can't reach or teach or coach these youngsters, he is saying the opposite, and he isn't going to change his style for anyone, so I say welcome to Hyde Park, and like Coach Bryant said,"strap your seatbelt on"!

This dood has been fired twice (Young/Marshall) for some supposed crazy reasons. It will be fun to see the Cleveland Browns jersey on the sidelines again though


Lamont Bryant is a good hire. He's a winner. Look out for Hyde Park.

I agree with Phil that Chris Head is an outstanding coaching talent. What makes him a bad coach is what most people would argue about. It is his personality. The old school sideline coaching behavior is no longer acceptable. I mean cursing paddling, pushing, intimidating, posturing, defying authority, and just being a complete jackass in the eyes of parents, fans, and kids on the team. This is what he does, and you can't get away with this, even in CPS. Not anymore. It will be very difficult for any school to take a chance and hire Chris with all of his baggage into their school's basketball program.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on September 3, 2010 6:50 PM.

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