LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Following the retirement of state championship coach Albert Hartwell, the Washington-Marion Charging Indians were on the search for the next coach to lead the basketball power to greatness.
The school didn’t have to look far to find its next head coach. In fact, he’s been court-side for nearly a decade. The school announced on Friday that assistant coach Robert Palmer will lead the program going forward, taking over for Hartwell.
“I’ve been there for a long time. I started at Molo and now I’m at Washington-Marion so I’ve been there for a while so I know all of the kids and neighborhoods,” said Robert Palmer.
It’s Palmer’s first head job at the high school level and although he learned plenty of lessons as an assistant, he’s looking forward to implementing his own style at the Teepee.
“Now I have the chance to put my imprint on it,” added Palmer. “Even with Coach Hartwell, he let me do a lot so I did a lot as far as offense, defense and things like that. Now I get to go to another level and bring my personalization to the program.”
The Charging Indians don’t lose much from last year’s squad that advanced to the second round of the playoffs in its first season back in Class 4A. The familiarity between Palmer and his players has him excited for the upcoming campaign.
“Just from being in the workouts this summer I can tell it’s going to be a pretty good year,” admitted Palmer. “We should be good. We have pretty good size across the board so that’ll help us a lot during the games as far as getting up in your face. Our guard play is going to be important, I think we have great guards. It’s going to be exciting. I can’t wait.”