MULLINS, S.C. – Eric Troy called being the head coach at his alma mater a dream job.
He was named the new coach for the Mullins High School boys varsity basketball team on Thursday. The hometown product coached seven seasons of junior varsity basketball at the school and was an assistant coach the past two years for the varsity team.
Troy filled-in as the bench coach for the Auctioneers, leading the team to a 24-4 overall record and third round of the Class 2A playoffs in 2018-19.
The Auctioneers won the Region 7-2A title with a 13-1 record this past season, something they hadn’t done since 2015.
“The word to describe it would be surreal,” Troy said. “Growing up in Mullins every kid wanted to put on that red, white and blue and I was no different. To actually have a chance to coach, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it.”
Troy said it was an awesome experience leading the team during the season.
The former Auctioneers basketball player started out as a soccer coach for three years.
“This is my childhood dream job so it gets no better than this,” he said of his new role. “The best way to describe this feeling is excitement and anticipation but at the same-time I know I got to bring it because the expectation in Mullins is wanting a ring.”
Troy said he is up for the challenge.
“I understand Mullins basketball inside-out being that I’m a product of it,” he said. “I know the history and pride that goes along with putting on that jersey.”
What’s next for Mullins basketball?
“It’s to get back to Mullins basketball and our style of play,” he said. “When you think of Mullins you think of defense. We’re actually going to focus a lot more on the fundamentals and the basics in getting our kids college-ready.”
Troy played under longtime former coach the late Mark Gerald and helped workout players before his death in September 2014.
“Being exposed to the Mark Gerald era I wanted that and I looked up to him,” Troy said. “I think a lot of kids wanted to grow up to be like him. He could’ve been anywhere but he chose to help the kids in Mullins. That is one of the reasons I don’t want to go anywhere because I understand a lot of the problems these kids face and they’re unique to a lot of different places.”
Troy said he was thankful for the fan support and looks forward to the unique position of working with his returning players, junior varsity players moving up and athletes from Creek Bridge High School transitioning to Mullins High School the start of the school year.
“It’s a good problem to have and we have a lot of talent coming back and the Creek Bridge kids add to that,” he said.