Morehouse Parish Schools Superintendent Hazel Sellers has confirmed the hiring of Gerline "Gi GI" Guillaume as Bastrop High's new girls basketball coach.

Hired Wednesday as the Bastrop High Lady Rams' new head basketball coach, Gerline "Gi Gi" Guillaume sounded much like her predecessor.

"I like to play up-tempo," Guillaume said. "I believe defense creates offense. I don't want kids to stop playing hard because they are worried about their offense. Defense is definitely the main thing to me."

Guillaume fills the vacancy created by the retirement of long-time coach Emma Brooks, who plans on spending more time with her grandchildren. Brooks' highly-successful run featured four Top 28 appearances, a state runner-up finish and numerous district titles.

"We are excited to have coach Guillaume," Morehouse Parish Schools Superintendent Hazel Sellers said. "We hate to see Ms. Brooks go, but we know people have to go where their heart is, and she is looking forward to retirement.

"We are blessed to have coach Guillaume step into coach Brooks' place, and we look forward to the program continuing to compete at a high level. Coach Guillaume is a knowledgeable and experienced coach, and has played the game well."

As a senior, Guillaume helped Miami Edison win the Class 6A state championship. She went on to play for Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College and ULM.

At TVCC, Guillaume averaged 7.3 points and 3 assists as the Lady Cardinals compiled a 30-1 record en route to a No. 2 national ranking.

Moving on to ULM, Guillaume averaged 8.7 points and sank a team-high 35 3-pointers as a starting guard for the Warhawks' 2004-05 Southland Conference championship team. Remaining at ULM, she joined coach Mona Martin's staff as a graduate assistant before being promoted to a full-time position.

Her primary responsibilities as an assistant at ULM included scouting opponents, recruiting, off-season individual workouts and managing the Warhawks' academic progress.

Playing for three defensive-minded coaches, Guillaume was part of championship teams at the high school, junior college and Division I levels.

"The coaches I played for won championships based on defense," Guillaume said.

While coaching the post players at ULM, Guillaume worked with former Lady Ram Sharnice Brooks.

"Sharnice improved tremendously, and was our leading scorer her senior year," Guillaume said. "She's an assistant coach at Sterlington now."

Since leaving ULM, Guillaume has been employed at Vision Academy in Monroe as a coach, athletic administrator and math teacher and as a supervisor at Benoit Recreation Center in Monroe. She has also worked as a high school official.

"Officiating gave me a completely different perspective," Guillaume laughed. "It was a challenge at first, but I definitely learned a lot."

Along with the head basketball coaching position, Guillaume was hired to assist with the track program and teach physical education at Bastrop. Her first official day on the job is July 1, though she plans to meet her new team within the next few days.

"I'm nervous and excited at the same time. This is a great opportunity," Guillaume said. "Coach Brooks has done an outstanding job with this program. She's been a pioneer for girls basketball for this community. She has always done well and has so much integrity. She is someone I have always admired. She deserves a lot of kudos for the outstanding job she has done with her kids."

Guillaume is a 2006 graduate of ULM where she received a bachelor's degree in social work.