After several weeks of screening and meeting with the search committee, the Russellville High School Athletic Department has announced that Rex Booth has been hired to the position of Boys’ Head Basketball Coach. Coach Booth is currently the RJSHS Guidance Counselor and has been working with the program on a volunteer basis with fundamental and individual trainings.
Booth was previously the head coach at Hopkins County Central, where in two years he was able to bring their boys basketball program up to par with the rest of the teams in their region and district. Coach Booth’s first head coaching job was at Livingston Central, where he compiled a 21-11 record while winning the 5th district championship. He also as an assistant coach at Trigg County.
“Coach Booth has had the opportunity to work under some of the most respected coaches in the state of Kentucky such as Jeff Hall, Mike Wright, and John Tinsley,” says Principal Kim McDaniel. “Coach Booth is also a Lindsey Wilson College alumni, where he was a part of their men’s basketball program for four years. “
He played his high school basketball at Edmonson County when that school was part of the Fourth Region. Part of his coaching experience has been working Blue Chip Camps under one of the region’s best coaches ever, Tommy Compton.
Booth is part of a coaching duo. His finance, Shannon Gipson, is the assistant coach for Lady Panthers basketball. She played in two state tournaments in one of the state’s best girls basketball programs, Marshall County, under the legendary Coach Howard Beth. She started volunteering at Murray High School where Rechelle Turner as the coach. Turner is the new head coach at Murray State University. Gipson then returned to Marshall County as a full-time staff member where she had the opportunity to coach in three state tournaments.
Comments from Coach Shannon Gipson:
“Yesterday, Rex Booth was officially named boys head basketball coach for RHS. I cannot begin to describe the emotions that are flowing from me.
“First, let me start off by saying that Russellville has been nothing short of a blessing for our family. Over two years ago, we made the move from Madisonville anxious and hesitant to see what we were getting ourselves into. But I must say that this community has made us feel welcomed from the start. That in itself means more to Rex and me than you all know, so thank you Russellville!
“Rex and I are a lot alike. We are passionate about what we do, and when we commit to something we will spend every ounce of ourselves into what we said we would do. You can usually catch us spending a lot of our down time discussing coaching philosophies and what if situations just for fun. Yes, we are weird. We know! Rex won't ever admit this publicly but I know that if I were a man, I'd be the FIRST one he would call on to be his assistant.
“Russellville got a great hire in Rex not just because he is my better half, but because he is the perfect fit for this job. This man is constantly reading coaches’ philosophies, watching videos, taking notes, whatever he needs to do to make sure he stays on top of the game. They say the best coaches are always learning, and Rex is a true testament to that.
“But above all else, Rex truly cares for these kids here in Russellville. I've seen this man work 10+ hour days only to go right back to the gym to work kids out. He never once complained, he never once grimaced at the task, he just simply got his shoes on, and said "I'll see ya there" and he was out the door. That may not seem like much to you, but that is worth its weight in gold in the basketball world.
“And his love for these boys extends beyond the court. He wants the very best for them—both on and off the court—and will go the extra mile to ensure they are set up for success once they hit the real world.
“They say that "good things come to those who wait", and it is so true. We have been hurt a few times traveling down our path in the "coaching world", but it was leading up to the bigger road we would eventually come across.
“So now that I'm back to a coach’s spouse again, y'all just pray for me. I don't know if I can handle the role "the coach’s wife" and be quiet in the stands these days.”
Comments from Athletic Director Calvin Head:
“We are very excited about this hire for our boys’ basketball program. We know how prestigious this program is to our school and community and we feel that Coach Booth will do an outstanding job leading this program in the right direction. Coach Booth has made a huge impact on our school already in his role as Guidance Counselor. He has been able to develop positive relationships with all of our students and has really brought great energy and enthusiasm to our school building.”
Comments from Coach Booth:
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be selected as the head basketball coach at Russellville High School. The Russellville basketball program has been and will continue to be one of the most respected programs in the region, and I am so excited to lead it into the future. I want to thank my family for supporting me and allowing me the opportunity to do what I love. I also want to thank the Administration at Russellville High School including Mrs. Kim McDaniel and Athletic Director Calvin Head as well as the selection committee for having the confidence to select me for this dream position! I cannot wait to get started with our kids as we begin preparing for next season, which cannot get here fast enough!”
Comments from Principal Kim McDaniel:
“Regarding the replacement for Coach Phil Todd: Even though we believe those are huge shoes to fill, we believe that the search committee has chosen a candidate that will strive daily to fill those shoes while also developing our student athletes into a competitive and driven team. I would like to thank Athletic Director Calvin Head along with other committee members, which included Paul Jones, Tracy Naylor and Coach Todd for the time and work they have put into this process. We believe that Coach Booth is a wonderful addition to our athletic department at RJSHS.”