East Nashville basketball coach Jim Fey has been named to take over the top boys spot at Summit High School. The position opened when Josh Goodwin left to pursue a real estate career and other player development options earlier this month.
“I’m very excited about coming to Summit,” Fey said. “I know Coach (Josh) Godwin has the groundwork laid for a really good team, not just for next year but for several years to come.
"I think the community is growing, the school is growing, and everything is moving in such a positive direction. I think it is something that can be sustained over time.”
He also has high expectations for his new team.
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“My expectations are to win," the veteran coach said. "I learned a long time ago if you don’t expect to win it’s going to be tough to be a winner. Are we going to have some ups and downs? Of course. The kids have to get to know me, I’ve got to get to know them.
"There’s going to be an adjustment period for all of us. But I believe building relationships is the most important thing for a new team.”
Those expectations to win include playing deep into the post-season every year, and Fey knows that will be a challenge in Williamson County.
“Qualifying for the region is the standard and that is hard in that district (11-AAA)," Fey said. "You had two state tournament teams in Franklin and Brentwood, plus Ravenwood, Page, Independence in one of the biggest districts in the state. Then there are the Metro teams like Cane Ridge, Hillsboro are really going to be good this year and Overton and McGavock are up and coming.
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“But if you’re in the regional tournament you have a chance to get to state. And that’s all you can ask every year.”
Fey spent 23 years at East Nashville after stints as an assistant at Trevecca Nazarene University and Columbia State. He posted a 422-253 record, making five state appearances. In the last ten years, the Eagles were 254-68 (78.9 percent) with four state tournament appearances, falling in the championship game twice (2011, 2014). East finished 27-7 last year, falling in the state semifinals.
Leaving the program after more than two decades and great success was a tough decision, Fey said, with a lot of emotion.
“Talking to my kids was the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life," he said. "It was like talking to my own personal family because these kids, to me, are my family. It was extremely hard.”
Despite the emotions, Fey is ready to be a Spartan.
“It’s an exciting time for us," he said. "I feel the kids will like the style of play I bring to the table. I think we’ll be highly competitive. I’m looking forward to it and hopefully the transition will go well and we will be talking about our post-season run at the end of the year.”