HICKORY — Andy Poplin has been named by the Hickory Public Schools Board of Education to serve as the new men’s head basketball coach for Hickory High School, according to a press release by the school system..
Poplin’s record is among the most notable among his peer. While serving as the head men’s basketball coach at Concord High School, the team won multiple titles, including the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A championship. Additionally, Poplin was twice awarded the NC Preps 3A Coach of the Year, the Charlotte Observer 3A Coach of the Year, and the Independent Tribune Coach of the Year.
Prior achievements include several conference tournament championships while serving as head men’s basketball coach at Mount Pleasant High School from 1994-2003.
Other coaching assignments include serving as assistant coach as West Caldwell in 1992-1993 and Poplin even enjoyed an earlier stint with Hickory Public Schools, as he served as the assistant basketball coach at College Park Middle School from 1989-1992.
According to Dr. Ann Stalnaker, principal of Hickory High, there were many great candidates for the basketball head coach position. “My goal throughout the process was to find just the right fit for our players,” said Stalnaker. “Coach Poplin has the energy and passion for basketball to motivate our young men’s best efforts on the court and in the classroom. We are thrilled to have him join our team at Hickory High.”
HPS Superintendent, Dr. Walter Hart, agrees. “Coach Poplin is a winner. His record speaks for itself with back-to-back regional championships, a state championship and players who go on to compete at the next level,” said Hart. “His high energy and enthusiastic style motivates today’s players. He teaches the game of basketball with a contagious passion that connects to players and the community.”
Poplin, 42, is currently an elementary physical education teacher with Cabarrus County Schools. He is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education. He is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Health Education at UNC-Charlotte.
“I am thrilled to get the opportunity to return to Hickory after graduating from Lenoir-Rhyne in 1993. Hickory High was always a dream destination for me,” said Poplin.
“I hope to bring my unique and innovative approach and mindset to coaching, training, educating, and inspiring the young players in Hickory,” said Poplin. “I love to use basketball as a vehicle to motivate and inspire young people to reach their potential as a player, but more importantly as a person.”