Nick Isaac has taken over as the new girls basketball coach at Augusta Christian Schools.
A 1996 Augusta Christian graduate, Isaac succeeds Keith Walton, who made the decision to concentrate solely on his position as head football coach at the school after coaching both sports last school year.
Isaac played small forward in basketball and quarterback in football for four years at Augusta Christian. He earned All-State honors in both sports.
He played on the 1996 basketball squad that won the school's first state title in any sport. He left as the school's all-time leading scorer, though his brother, Joey, has since robbed him of that distinction.
Isaac received a dual scholarship for both sports to attend Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois. After playing football for one year there, he transferred to Clearwater (Fla.) Christian College, where he played four years of basketball.
For the past seven years, Isaac coached the girls squad at Dominion Christian, a small private school in Marietta, Ga.
When he first arrived there, it was a fairly new school. The most games the team had won in a season was nine.
"It was a challenge," Isaac said. "I actually learned a lot trying to build up a basketball program."
He did just that.
Under his direction, the team won six games the first year. In his final season, Dominion went 32-2 and was invited to the National Christian School Athletic Association Championship in Erie, Pa.
Isaac went out with a bang, as his team won its division in the tournament to become national private school champions.
When he started his coaching career, Isaac said he knew all along that Augusta Christian is where he wanted to be.
"I knew one day I wanted to come back here and coach," he said. "So, nine years later, this has come true. This has been a great feeling ever since they hired me."
Athletic Director Marty Griffin said he chose Isaac for the post because of his passion.
"Not only his passion for the game of basketball, but his passion for Augusta Christian," Griffin said. "Him being an alum, he understands the school, the school's philosophy and what we're committed to. And his record from the coaching standpoint is outstanding."
Isaac also listed his close relationship with the school and with Walton as reasons he knows that Augusta Christian is where he belongs.
"When I was in Florida, this was No. 1 on my coaching goal list," he said. "I owe a lot to this school. This school has been responsible for molding me into the person I am today."
Isaac said he wouldn't want to coach anywhere else, and that he and Walton share many of the same ideas.
He prefers a fast-paced style, with an emphasis on high-pressure defense. The ability to run that style, Isaac stressed, depends on the players you have, and he believes the players he has inherited will be able to run it successfully.
In addition to the Xs and Os, Isaac said he and Walton share another philosophy.
"Probably most importantly, we understand we're more than just coaches," Isaac said. "We're also mentors, and we believe in building and establishing healthy personal relationships that are lifelong."
Isaac said starting with this program will be much different than when he began at Dominion Christian.
At Augusta Christian, the bar already has been raised.
"We want to keep the ball rolling and win a first girls state championship here," he said.
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