Howells headed to Baldwyn, and other coaching moves

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May 26—TUPELO — As the coaching carousel turns and turns and turns...

—Assistant coach hires aren't usually big news, but this one is: New Albany boys basketball assistant Mitch Howell is headed to Baldwyn to assist Jason McKay. What makes this especially noteworthy is Howell will be bringing along his son, Cayden, an athletic guard who averaged 15.2 points and 4.0 assists per game last season.

The Howells joined New Albany last year after Mitch stepped down as Wheeler's head coach.

"I'm eventually going to get back into head coaching," Howell said. "I miss it bad, but there just weren't a lot of openings this year in our area. So this gets me closer to home."

Wheeler was 133-67 during Howell's seven years there and reached the Class 1A state semifinals in 2018.

—We've had several other basketball coaching moves lately. One of them is at Wheeler, where Carleigh King has been hired to lead the girls. She was previously head coach at Mantachie, going 41-47 in three seasons.

Wheeler went 11-16, including 6-2 in Division 1-1A, last season. The Lady Eagles were hindered by the loss of their best player, senior Jayden Lowery, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in mid-December.

Wheeler has several players returning next season, including Rebekah Mason (10.4 points per game).

—Former Corinth girls head coach Clark Whitten is the new boys coach at Alcorn Central.

Whitten was a Corinth assistant for three years before taking over as head coach for the 2021-22 season. The Lady Warriors went 23-32 with two playoff appearances on his watch.

Whitten replaces Josh Harrison, who left after three seasons for a job at Oxford.

—North Pontotoc has new boys and girls head coaches. Assistant Shayne Adams was promoted to lead the boys, and Tona Hall was hired away from Tremont as girls coach.

They replace Rob Browning, who coached both teams and left for an administrative position at his alma mater, Ingomar.

—Y'all remember Kevin Walton, yes? The former East Union head football coach is now the head coach at Falkner, replacing Jeff Anglin.

Walton led East Union for five seasons (2015-19), posting a record of 35-24 with two division titles. After leaving there — along with his son, quarterback Ty — Walton accepted assistant coaching jobs at both East Webster and Itawamba AHS in the summer of 2020 before ultimately landing at Olive Branch.

Walton and his son then went to Nettleton the next year.

Walton has been at Falkner since last summer but was not on the football staff. This will be his second stint with the Eagles, having been their head coach for the 2001 season.

—Former H.W. Byers head football coach Chris Daniels has taken the same job at Potts Camp.

Daniels spent 10 seasons at Byers, a tiny 1A school that always has athletes, but sometimes not enough of them. He was 36-67-1 leading the Lions, including a 4-6 mark last fall.

Daniels replaces Richard Russo, who left after one season to be defensive coordinator at Water Valley.

Brad Locke is senior sports writer for the Daily Journal. Contact him on Twitter @bradlocke or via email at