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Dunnavant to lead girls’ basketball program at James Clemens

Jeff Dunnavant will be dealing with youth and inexperience as he organizes a winning team for girls’ basketball at James Clemens High School.

Jeff Dunnavant will coach girls' basketball at James Clemens High School.

“But I was really pleased with our teams work ethic this summer and have no doubt that we’re headed in the right direction,” Dunnavant said.

Dunnavant also will handle the simple yet important task of establishing program expectations. “Successful teams understand the importance of working hard every second of every play, even in practice,” he said.

For four years, Dunnavant was an assistant coach for boys at Hazel Green High School. “We won two area championships and lost in the state championship game this past season,” he said. He previously worked as sports information director for women’s basketball at Jacksonville State University

A native of Jonesboro, Ga., Dunnavant earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama in 2004.

Initially, he didn’t enter the field of education. “However, my parents are teachers and I married a teacher. I guess I just could not resist it,” Dunnavant said.

He enjoys working with youth and having “the ability to influence lives for the better. By combining my passion for basketball with impacting kids’ lives, it really was a no-brainer to get into high school education/coaching.”

For Dunnavant, the most memorable students are ones he connects with beyond the subject of English. “One student was a guy that played for us at Hazel Green the last four years,” he said. Numerous people doubted that the boy could finish high school.

“He had his share of troubles and struggles in the classroom, but the biggest pleasure was seeing him grow up and mature, pass the English portion of graduation exam after spending many hours of studying and earn a scholarship to play basketball at Alabama A&M University,” Dunnavant said.

Dunnavant is married to the former Lindsey Hayes of Florence. She teaches fourth grade at The Randolph School. Their daughter Hayden is two years old.

James Clemens will play a full 6A schedule, including Austin, Decatur and Florence high schools. “We’ll play Bob Jones High School twice,” Dunnavant said. For a full schedule, visit Jamesclemensbasketball.com.

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