COPPERAS COVE — Tiffney Barnes wants her players to experience all the success she did, even if it will be difficult to replicate.
Barnes, who was part of the Lady Bulldawgs basketball team’s dominance in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was recently named the program’s new head coach, and it is an opportunity she has been anticipating.
“I’ve just been waiting to come back home and help these kids experience everything I experienced here at Copperas Cove,” Barnes said. “I want to give that back to my community.
“This is my home. I bleed blue and gold, and I’m ready to help these kids be successful.”
Barnes is embarking on her first head coaching job after spending the last four years as an assistant at District 12-6A rival Belton.
She takes over the program from Eldridge McAdams, who stepped down after six seasons at Copperas Cove. The Lady Bulldawgs made the playoffs three times during the span with the last appearance coming in 2018.
Eight players from last year’s roster are eligible to return, including three key seniors — guards Madisen Honea and Leah Powell and forward Kaysha McCloud.
The trio spent a majority of last season as starters.
“We’re going to be small,” Barnes said, “but we’re going to be quick and athletic, so I’m going to play to those advantages.
“I’m still waiting to see exactly what my roster will look like, but once I do, I’ll go from there.”
While Barnes is unsure of precisely what to expect when the season rolls around, Copperas Cove athletic director Jack Alvarez is not.
“Anytime someone is new and energetic,” he said, “it brings some excitement to the program.
“Now, she gets to come back to her home town, where she was part of one of the school’s best girls basketball teams ever, and she has a chance to make a name for herself. I know she is ready to give back.”