By Maurice Patton
Former Columbia Central girls basketball coach Joshua Bugg has joined the staff at Hillsboro, veteran Lady Burros coach Cherish Stringfield confirmed Friday.
The news of Bugg’s hiring comes one day after the announcement of Megan Moore as his successor at Central.
“I’m thrilled to have Josh join the staff,” Stringfield said regarding Bugg, who led the Lady Lions to an 18-12 record last season and the program’s first region tournament appearance since 2012 prior to his March dismissal. “I think he’s going to bring some valuable experience from his time at Columbia Central. I know he loves the game and he pushes the kids to be better.
“One of the areas I’m looking for him to come in and make an immediate impact in is player development. That’s something he’s really good at, something he’s looking forward to.”
Bugg, 33-72 in four seasons at Central after stints as an assistant at Riverdale and Independence, replaces Jessica Mooney – a Hillsboro graduate who, like Stringfield, played collegiately at Vanderbilt – following her move to join the coaching staff at Belmont University. He will serve as junior varsity head coach and a varsity assistant.
Along with longtime Lady Burro assistant Missy Humphrey, the Hillsboro staff now includes three with head coaching experience.
“For me, I look at it as a blessing,” Stringfield said. “It’s another person that understands all the caveats that go with running a program. There will be some things I don’t have to teach Josh, so to speak. I’m looking forward to learning about Josh and his coaching style, seeing how we can plug him in to fill the needs we have.
“(Humphrey) and I have been working together for eight years. We’ve won championships, we’ve sent 13 kids to college (via basketball scholarships). I just want to get back to the top, get back to grinding, and I actually think Josh is going to be a great addition for that push I need and that we’re looking for, especially going back into ‘WilCo’.”
In 10 seasons at Hillsboro after beginning her career with a three-year stint at Centennial, Stringfield has led the Lady Burros to more than 150 wins with three district tournament championships and three region tourney semifinal berths.
Hillsboro moves to District 11-AAAA for the upcoming season, along with Brentwood, Centennial, Franklin and Overton. Those five will join Columbia Central, Summit, Independence, Nolensville and Ravenwood from District 12-AAAA to form Region 6-AAAA.
Attempts to reach Bugg for comment were unsuccessful.