GF graduate Shane Compton named basketball coach

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Green Forest Tigers have hired Shane Compton as their boys basketball coach.

Compton is a 1988 Green Forest graduate who went on to play college basketball at Arkansas State, North Arkansas College and the University of Central Arkansas.

"This is a position that I have wanted ever since I was back in high school," Compton said. "When I went to school originally, that is what I went to school for, to coach and teach. My life took a little bit of a different path. It took me a little while, but now I am here. The opportunity became available and it was too good to pass up."

Once Compton completed college, he decided to get into the beverage industry. He did that for 25 years, but said he always wanted to get back into coaching. Compton was a volunteer middle school basketball coach in Mississippi until he got certified to teach and coach at the high school level.

"It's one of those things where I wasn't satisfied with the position I was in," Compton said. "I wanted to get a job that I felt was fulfilling. Where I was helping people and doing something that I felt was worthwhile."

Shane Compton is a cousin to Berryville basketball coach Brent Compton. Shane Compton said he looks forward to going up against the Bobcats next year.

"The Green Forest and Berryville rivalry has been going on since before I was born," Compton said. "When I went to school, it was always an exciting matchup. I know that in the last 10 to 15 years, Berryville has gotten the best of Green Forest, but I'm hoping for the rivalry to be exciting again. Not that it hasn't been, but for me it will be fun to play him."

Shane Compton adds that Brent Compton has been a major influence in his life.

"He is the one who kind of talked me into doing this," Compton said. "He said I wasn't getting any younger and this is what I always wanted to do, so just do it. So that's what I did."

Brent Compton said he looked up to his cousin as a player at Green Forest.

"Shane is someone I wanted to be like," Compton said. "He was a really good player. He scored 50 points in his last game at the state tournament. In my lifetime, Shane is one of the best players I have seen play at Green Forest."

Green Forest athletic director Bobby Bishop believes this was a great hire.

"I have known Shane all of his life," Bishop said. "He is a Green Forest boy. Being a hometown boy, a lot of the local people are happy about our decision to hire Shane and we are excited to work with him."

Shane Compton understands there is a difference in being a volunteer middle school coach and coaching high school basketball at Green Forest.

"I am going to be learning the same way those kids are learning how to play basketball," Compton said. "I'm sure there will be some roadblocks during that first year. There will be some obstacles I will have to overcome. I have always heard the first year is always the toughest, but for me it's about learning about the players and trying to manage my time."

Brent Compton is confident his cousin will be a successful coach.

"I think he will make them more competitive immediately," Compton said. "I'm not trying to put any pressure on him, but he will put the kids in a position to be successful."

Compton knows he is a first-year coach, but after playing at the highest level in college basketball, Compton hopes he can gain trust and respect from the team.

"Playing at Green Forest gave me a lot of opportunities and I just hope to give back to them," Compton said. "Because of the amount of success I had here, I got a chance to travel all over the United States. It paid for my college tuition and it gave me a lot of other opportunities. That's just something I would like to pay back to them."

Compton is confident he can turn his alma mater back into the great basketball program it was when he played there.

"I want to try and work with what I have now and I believe we can give them some success this year," Compton said. "But ultimately, we have to get the kids started at the pee-wee program and have them stick with it through seventh grade and junior high. Try to teach those kids fundamentals and by the time they become freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors, they have those basic skill sets. At that point, we can actually teach them the game as opposed to teaching them how to dribble a basketball or how to pass a basketball. Those skills are already instilled in the kids and we can work on game planning."

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