Grayson girls head basketball coach Tim Slater named 2023-2024 MaxPreps Coach of the Year

Head coach Tim Slater has been named as the 2023-2024 MaxPreps Coach of the Year after leading the Grayson Lady Rams to a 32-1 record including a GHSA Class 7A state championship.

“These types of awards are always nice, because it is always nice to get recognition, but ultimately it might not have my name on it but it is truly a team award, I mean I am not up for this award if we don’t do what we do and the kids don’t do what they do and play the way they did, compete the way they did,” said Slater. “It’s nice to get that kind of recognition to be Coach of the Year, but in order to be Coach of the Year you have to have great players. I am here because of them and I am very appreciative of it.”

This is Slater’s second GHSA state championship as a head coach, as he won his first with Lanier High School in 2019. He is in his third year as the coach of the Lady Rams and brought the schools its first girls basketball state championship in program history this spring. Slater was recognized for helping turn around the basketball program which has three-consecutive 20-win seasons.

This season’s Grayson team was nothing short of dominant from start to finish.

Across 33 games this season, Grayson won by over 30 points in 14 games and won by 80-points in a game against New Dorp, 112-32. The Lady Rams were the No. 1 team in the GHSA state playoffs and ran through the competition, including a 21-point victory in the state championship game.

After winning the state championship and the Coach of the Year award, Slater knows that to repeat as state champions again next year, his team is going to have to put in the same amount of work if not more in the off-season.

”Well I think we are going to continue doing what we do. I mean if you look prior to when I got here, the season before I got here we were 13-13 and they never had been past the first round of the playoffs and so now we have three 20-win seasons in row, we’ve made it to the Elite Eight, obviously we won the championship last year, so we are going to continue doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep developing our kids, we are going to keep building our players up,” said Slater.

Though the offseason has been integral for Grayson when building its team, the Lady Rams realized that they all shared the same goal early on: to win a championship.

“I think this group, more than any group I have coached I would say, understood what the ultimate end result was. Understood that they wanted to win the state title, as a group they all said that was their goal. They didn’t care about individual accolades, they didn’t care about individual scoring, they didn’t care about any of that, and that’s rare. Especially in an era now where kids are told to go ‘get theirs’ and ‘how many points did you score?’ To have kids to buy into the team concept and do things for each other, for us to be successful, it’s super rare. I really enjoyed coaching this team because of that,” said Slater.

For his efforts on the sidelines this season, Slater was nominated for awards such as Naismith High School Girls Basketball Coach of the Year where he was a finalist.

Though he has won championships in the past, Slater believes that this team was special because of the IQ of each and every player and how everyone strived to get better on a daily basis.

“The thing I enjoyed most about this season was that this team was so player-led. You hear that go all the time, good teams are coach led, bad teams have no leaders and great teams are led by their players. To be able to sit back and really let the kids take ownership whether it was at practice or in timeouts or during games, looking at them and saying ‘What do you see?’ ‘What do you think?’ And then for them to be able to answer intelligently, because of their basketball IQ and their understanding of what we were doing conceptually, to be able to give good answers and implement those and see success, that was really neat to have that kind of senior leadership and senior IQ. Just to have that on a team at the high school level is super rare,” said Slater.




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