Chris Stallings Titled Courier Journal Kentucky Girls Basketball Coach of the Year


Emma Whitehouse, Emma Whitehouse

One victory after another.

After having a successful season, the Lady Chargers celebrated another accomplishment.

Coach Chris Stallings was voted Courier Journal’s Kentucky Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. Stallings has a lot of history in the basketball program at Bullitt East and has helped it grow to where it is today. His players say how he is different from other coaches and deeply cares for his team not only on the court, but in their lives too.

The Lady Chargers had a successful season with capturing their first Sixth Region title, beating Elizabethtown 66-55 and making school history with their first Sweet 16 victory. The Lady Chargers were 25-7 and were pushing to win state, but their season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s coaches were aware of Stallings’ brilliant coaching and voted him as the state’s girls basketball coach of the year. Stallings was excited and honored when he found out the news. “When Mr. Frakes called me and I was very surprised and excited to hear the news. As we spoke I just reflected back on all the support I have received through the years from my wife and family, the community, administrators, parents, players and my staff I have been blessed to work with… I have never really focused on awards like these. We just try and focus on each day and do the very best we can at getting better as players and coaches,” said Stallings.

Stallings said how he owes it all to the support he received and it would not have been possible without those beside him. “I have watched him for 26 years connect with players from every type of background. I have seen him take players to new heights as basketball players and people. I think he is genuinely loved by his kids and respected. He never lies to them ever, he shows and tells them he loves them,” said Stallings daughter, Katie Hoben, who is also an assistant coach for the Lady Chargers.

Before Stallings was a coach, he was a three-sport athlete at Bullitt Central. After graduating in 1981, he continued his athletic career to play basketball at Lindsey Wilson and Kentucky Wesleyan. After that, he became a teacher and coach at Bullitt East in 1986. Aftering being the assistant for 13 seasons, Stallings became the head coach for the Lady Chargers in 1999.

Through all of his experiences playing and coaching basketball, he has had many mentors to help him get to where he is today. “Jerry Troutman gave me my first opportunity here at Bullitt East and taught me how hard you had to be willing to work. Randy Mefford was my high school coach and showed me how to sacrifice things for your players. Steve Small has been a mentor to me since middle school. He has constantly shown me how to have fun and evolve while you’re coaching. I have tried learning from each experience to be better, do better and represent my family, community, school and program with great respect and pride,” said Stallings.

Stallings has grown and has learned how to further his coaching skills. “I often look back at my first few years of teaching and coaching to think, boy, was I inexperienced and ask how did those kids ever learn a thing or win a game. My main focus has always been the students and players, the relationships we get to form through good times and bad. I mean, it’s not always fun. We work hard and there are hard days of work to put in to achieve anything, but it is all meaningful and worth it at the end of the day,” said Stallings.

Using those experiences and lessons in his own coaching, he has a special connection with his team. “His relationship with each of his players is definitely unique. Most times, coaches just want to know their players athletic ability, but coach Stallings really knows each of us on a personal level. Everyday at practice, he always checks up on us and asks how we are doing,” said freshman Lilly Reid.

Stallings strives to make sure that his players are doing their best on and off of the court. “Coach Stallings makes sure to have an outstanding relationship with every single one of his players. He never fails to let each girl know that they are cared for and that we could go to him with anything. He stays involved with our lives outside of basketball and wishes us to do well and makes sure to recognize us when that happens. He genuinely cares for every one of his players,” said sophomore Emma Egan.

Although Stallings is no longer a teacher at Bullitt East, he plans to continue to further the program and is constantly trying to improve his coaching and his team to be the best they can be.