Former Beekman basketball and softball coach Caroline Oliphant has accepted the position of head girls basketball coach at Sterlington High School.
Caroline Oliphant was introduced as Sterlington's new girls basketball coach last week.
Oliphant spent the past five years at Beekman Charter School, serving one year as a CECP coach and four years as head basketball and softball coach. During her time at Beekman, the school which previously housed grades k-8, made the transition to a full-fledged high school. Beekman's sports teams started out at the junior varsity level and spent a year as an independent before the school was granted membership in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
At Sterlington, Oliphant will have the opportunity to focus solely on basketball.
"I have had my eye on Sterlington for awhile," Oliphant said. "It's a great place to be. It's a great atmosphere, and the athletic program is highly-regarded."
With the exception of Madeline Rogers, the Lady Panthers return their entire roster from last year's 14-19 squad, which lost to Kaplan in overtime in the first round of the state playoffs.
"I'm not saying we are going to win district, but I will say this is the most athleticism and height I have ever had," Oliphant said.
Coming off of the first winning season in their brief history (16-14 in 2016-17), the Lady Tigers slipped to 11-17 last season while making the jump from Class 1A to 2A. Oliphant caught a glimpse of her future team when the Lady Tigers dropped a 39-31 decision to the Lady Panthers in the Sterlington Tournament.
Like Beekman, Sterlington moved up in classification for the 2017-18 school year.
"The district is definitely going to be tougher, but we are going to compete and try to steal a game here and there," Oliphant said, referring to District 2-3A.
Oliphant succeeds Mike Crumpler as the Lady Panthers' coach. Crumpler guided Sterlington to a three-year mark of 54-43, highlighted by a 24-9 mark in 2016-17, the school's final season in 2A. Sterlington earned a first-round home game last season and defeated Pickering 46-42 for its first postseason win since 2012.
Doubling as Beekman's softball coach, Oliphant directed the Lady Tigers to their first-ever State Tournament appearance in 2017.
Oliphant attended what was then Beekman School from grades 4-7 prior to transferring to Prairie View Academy. Instantly inserted into the starting lineup as an eighth-grader, she went on to become the school's all-time leading scorer (girls or boys). She was a two-time MAIS Class 2A All-State selection for the Lady Spartans.
Also excelling in softball, Oliphant was a two-time All-State honoree and helped the Lady Spartans to the 2009 MAIS Class 2A state championship.
Two months after graduating from high school, she was hired as Prairie View's assistant basketball coach by Dave Farrell, her high school coach.
She accepted her first head coaching position at Riverfield Academy in the fall of 2013, where she piloted the Lady Raiders to a 25-6 record and the district title in her only season.
During her CECP year at Beekman, she assisted her mother, current BCS Athletic Director Jan Jones, in basketball, and Weldon Fitch in softball.
Upon graduating from Prairie View as valedictorian, Oliphant earned her degree in Kinesiology: Health & P.E. from ULM.
TRYOUTS: Oliphant will conduct her first tryout camp as coach of the Lady Panthers on Tuesday, May 15 from 4-6 p.m.