Two years into retirement, Jeff Hines decided it was high time he returned to the sidelines. That itch to get back into coaching has led Hines to Chambers Academy.
Hines was hired as Chambers’ new girls basketball coach. Hines replaces Brandi Fuller, who led the Lady Rebels to the AISA Class A quarterfinals in the 2018-2019 season.
Hines most recently coached at Benjamin Russell, where he was the boys basketball coach for seven years. A Prattville High School alum, Hines has spent time coaching at Prattville, Dadeville, Wallace State Community College and Holtville since beginning his coaching career in 1993.
“About six months ago, I started getting the itch to get back in the game,” Hines said. “I wasn't just going to take any job. I put some feelers out. I've been knowing (Chambers Academy headmaster) David Owen a long time, about 20 years. I just kind of reached out to him. This opening came about. I hate to put coach speak on you, but they checked all the bosses.
“I'm just blessed, fortunate and excited that we – my family – are able to join the Chambers family.”
Hines is well aware of the Lady Rebels’ recent success, and he has no qualms about setting high expectations. He said he is not walking into a rebuilding situation and pointed out the nucleus of last year’s Final Four team is coming back. Hines said his goal was to come in and help Chambers reach the next step — the state title game — and walk off the court as winners.
Hines has already settled in with his new team and has two practices under his belt after Monday. Although the entire varsity team hasn’t been able to get together yet, Hines has sensed an excited vibe from his new players who have been able to attend.
As far as playing style, Hines wants the Lady Rebels to play a lot of man defense and get after people. He also wants to build a family atmosphere within the program, which includes not only the players and their families but the community that supports the entire school.
Hines has been impressed with the athleticism and talent of the group he’s inherited, and he’s eager to help them put on a show next season.
“A lot of people will watch whatever game, and then when the girls play they'll go get them something to eat then come back to catch the boys game. I don't want that,” Hines said. “I want them to be excited about how hard these girls play, how hard they work and the style of play that they play. My family is excited to be a part of the Chambers family. My wife and my two daughters, they'll see them and my future son-in-law on a regular basis because it is a family thing for us.
“We're humbled and just so blessed to be there.”