At age 78, Hall of Fame coach Campbell Brandon isn’t finished coaching.
According to several sources, the Lebanon High legend has agreed to take over Smith County’s girls’ basketball program.
Brandon, who had assisted his son Bud’s Wilson Central team the past 13 years, will replace Barry Smith, who is taking over as Smith County’s schools director.
The Murfreesboro native has been on a bench 50 of the past 54 seasons. He coached the Lebanon Devilettes for 28 seasons after beginning his career with a four-year stint at Lascassas in Rutherford County. He has a career record of 748-225, including nine state tournaments, four state finals and the 1971 championship, the only TSSAA team championship in LHS history.
He retired from Lebanon in 1992 and has since spent five years as Bill Robinson’s assistant at Watertown and 13 at Central where Bud recently resigned to run for Wilson County circuit court clerk. The Lady Wildcats went to five state tournaments, winning two championships, with the Brandons on the bench.
Brandon will take over a Smith County program which went 22-11 last year. His best returning player is senior point guard Callie Hackett, who poured in a school-record 52 points in the Region 4-AA quarterfinals against Chattanooga Central as a junior.
According to the TSSAA website, Brandon ranks seventh on the state’s alltime wins list. He seamlessly transitioned the Devilettes from the six-on-six halfcourt style of play to the five-on-five fullcourt in 1979. Lebanon was the only team to qualify for the state tournament in the final six-on-six season and the first five-on-five year.
He was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 1994. Two Lebanon High gyms [the old facility which was abandoned two years ago and the new one on the South Hartmann Drive campus] have been named for him.