By Jeff Nations
The search to replace Chad Myers as head coach of the postgraduate boys basketball program at Massanutten Military Academy never even needed to leave campus.
The school announced Myers' resignation after a two-year run leading the program with a news release Friday, and in that same release announced that current athletics director Melvin Abrams will be taking over the program.
In his fifth year at MMA, Abrams has served as an assistant coach for the postgraduate program the last three years, while also coaching the school's varsity boys basketball team this past season. That squad won the Cavalier Athletic Conference tournament championship.
"I am very excited and appreciate the opportunity," Abrams said. "I just want to continue to progress and build on what we've accomplished here."
Under Myers, a former director of basketball operations at Radford University, the Colonels reached unprecedented heights the past two seasons. MMA became the No. 1 ranked postgraduate team in the country in mid-December and held that spot until suffering a season-ending loss in the National Prep Tournament. Myers guided MMA to a 58-12 mark in his two seasons in Woodstock.
"It's been my desire, all along, to get back into coaching on the college level," Myers said in a school news release. "I'm really proud to have been associated with the great players in the program at MMA. I wish the academy continued success with the postgraduate program and across campus."
Myers did not return calls seeking comment. Abrams said Myers hasn't spoken specifically about his future plans.
"He's a college coach -- that's who he is," Abrams said.
Abrams has an extensive resume, as well. A 1997 graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, Abrams finished as the school's fifth all-time leading scorer and earned Academic All-American honors. Abrams coached AAU basketball in Charlotte, N.C., for six years (1996-2002) and also played extensively overseas in several European countries and Venezuela. Abrams was a two-time MVP of his league in Lithuania.
Abrams thinks his familiarity with the program and his own experience coaching AAU basketball will help with the transition and with MMA's ongoing recruiting efforts. The program will lose much of its high-ceiling talent -- five Colonels have already signed NCAA Division I scholarships, and most if not all are expected to get offers at some level.
Abrams said he will retain his job as MMA's athletics director even as he takes on the added challenge of recruiting next year's team.
Abrams won't be able to count on his son next year. Kenya Ray Abrams, the star player on the varsity basketball team, recently announced plans to play football at the Apprentice School next year. Kenya Ray Abrams was a record-setting quarterback at the school who earned the Patriot Football League's Offensive Player of the Year honors as a senior.
Myers was a tireless recruiter for MMA, and Abrams knows he'll be spending plenty of time on the road in the coming months as he tries to put together another talented roster. That won't be easy, considering his additional duties as MMA's athletic director.
"We've talked about it it," Abrams said. "We're going to make it work."
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org>