Porter leaves Gosnell for Jonesboro job

Thursday, April 13, 2017
Coach Jimmy Porter

After going 15-11 in his first year as Gosnell High School boys basketball coach, Jimmy Porter turned in his resignation on Wednesday morning to take a job at Jonesboro High School. Porter is no stranger to the Jonesboro Hurricane program, which was ranked fifth in the nation and won the 6A state championship. He referenced the move as a “going home” feeling.

“At Jonesboro I pretty much know every kid that’s in their system from being there the last four or five years. So, it’s almost like a going home feeling…,” Porter said. “I have a really good relationship with a lot of kids there so I’m looking forward to getting to work with them again and looking forward to learning from the coaching staff there in Jonesboro and just make a difference.”

Hurricane head coach Wes Swift was named MaxPreps Coach of the Year earlier this month and also led the Hurricane to a perfect season, going 32-0 and hanging their 14th state championship. Porter called it an honor to coach alongside the Hurricane top notch coaching staff.

“The caliber of coaches on the coaching staff at Jonesboro is at another level,” Porter said. “You look at Wes Swift, he just got number one coach in the nation and just being able to learn from him and learn from guys like Matt Williams, Troy Campbell and Chuck Farley. Those guys can go anywhere in the state and be top notch coaches if they wanted to. They just could, they’re that caliber of coaches, and just being able to learn from those guys is going to make me so much better as a person and as a coach.”

Porter also saw the move as a career move for him.

“This is a career move for me, because I’m young, I’m only 24. For me, I feel like this is a career move for me to learn from the guys that do it the best in the state,” said Porter.

While being at Gosnell, Porter says he formed relationships and it’s difficult to leave.

“My time here at Gosnell, I’ve learned a lot,” Porter said. “The biggest thing I’m going to miss is the relationships I’ve formed. There are a lot of good people in this area that I have formed relationships with, specifically my kids and my boys. We have created a family atmosphere here and that family atmosphere really made it hard for us to leave, just because that’s what the word family means.We’re family.”

“Us deciding to go to Jonesboro was a move me and my wife had discussed. We were not planning to go anywhere. We bought a house and planned on staying and then we had the opportunity come up with Jonesboro and my wife still has a year left at Arkansas State,” said Porter.

With the departure of Porter, High School principal Len Whitehead said Porter’s time at Gosnell brought much enthusiasm into the program.

“Coach Porter did a good job. He came in and brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm into the program,” Whitehead said. “I think he is going to be a great head coach one day. I think this is going to be some valuable experience he can gain with Coach Swift and in that Jonesboro system, they’re really going strong right now and so I think it has a lot to offer for him as a coach.”

With the departure Whitehead said the look for a new head coach is under way.

“We’re going to have a lot of quality applicants for this job, so I think our program will be in good shape,” Whitehead said. “But we’ve opened it up and started the process. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes in from here.”

cnsports@blythevillecourier.com