Rejuvenated after taking two years off as a varsity coach, Clayton Fisher is back at the helm of the Belleville West High School girls basketball program.
A fixture in Belleville West athletics since the late 1990s, Fisher will begin his second tenure as the Maroons coach in 2017-18 as he takes over for Seth Garrett. Garrett resigned last month after leading West to a record of 36-24 in his two years.
Fisher is hoping to pick up where he left off after resigning following the 2014-15 season . In his nine years, the Maroons compiled a record of 163-96.
“I’m excited to be back. I took a year off two years ago and then last year I coached the boys sophomore team here (West) and had a great time doing it,” he said. “I had no plans to get back to get back into coaching girls basketball, but when the job opened up, it was a good fit because I had done it before. It was one of those things where when I retire in six years, I didn’t want to look back and say I wish I would have coached the girls. Now I can live with no regrets.”
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Fisher, who is also the boys golf coach and an assistant coach with the Maroons girls track and field team. After winning just 14 games during his first two years, West averaged more than 20 wins in Fisher’s final five years and won five straight regional championships.
Fisher admits that he has little knowledge of the current Maroons girls basketball team. West will return seniors Sydney Thurwalker and Kwanisha Quarles as well as highly-touted junior B’Aunce Carter.
“I know of Sydney who played a lot as a freshmen my last year three years ago and Kwanisha Quarles played a little bit. I know she’s a tremendous athlete,” Fisher said. “But to be honest I haven’t been watching a lot of girls basketball. I think I saw our (West) girls play a half last year against (Belleville East), but that’s it.
“I have had people come up and tell me that we’ve got some talent coming back and that’s good. I have always been an offensive coach and in looking at the scored there were games where they (West) scored 65-70 points. My teams before never did that. If we can stop teams even a little bit, we could be pretty good. We’ll be focusing on our defense.”