Southmont has found it’s next boys basketball coach. At a special school board meeting on Wednesday, Michael Byrum was unanimously approved to be the man to lead to the program. Byrum takes over for Jake Turner who stepped down at the end of this past season. Byrum comes from Northview where he spent the last six seasons at the helm of the Knights. In those six seasons he posted an overall record of 72-79 and between 2020 and 2022 had three straight winning seasons with Knights including a sectional championship in 2021.
“We are excited to have Coach Byrum as our next coach,” Southmont athletic director Aaron Charles said. “His dedication and passion developing players from the youth level all the way up high school was obvious during the interview process. We are confident that he will continue to build upon what Coach Turner was able to build. I think our players will be excited to see a lot of similarities on the defensive end as well as a much more up tempo pace on the offensive end.”
Byrum expressed what stood out about the Mounties and what led to his interest in the position.
“Southmont is just a great athletic school and that’s something that really stood out to me,” Byrum said. “They support their athletes very well and you can tell that in their facilities and how the community comes out and to their games. All of the coaches that I’ve talked with about Southmont spoke very highly of the school and I’m proud to be here.”
The Mounties are coming off three straight winning seasons of their own and the winning culture that Turner established was just another thing that stood out to Byrum.
“He (Turner) did a great job of building this program and I just hope to continue to do that,” he said. “I’ve been able to watch this team several times the last few years and have been impressed with what I’ve seen. I don’t look at me coming in as a rebuilding situation whatsoever. We’re going to try and maintain this level of success this program has had an even elevate it further.
During his tenure with the Knights, Byrum’s teams averaged right at 58 points per game. Byrum also was able to coach standout player Drew Cook, who will be playing his collegiate ball right here in Crawfordsville for Wabash College.
Byrum along also gave the Southmont community and fans a little insight to his coaching philosophy and what can be expected when the Mounties take the court next winter.
“We’re going to be an aggressive team who plays hard and works hard every day,” he said. “Playing fast and being able to set the tempo of the game is very important to me. We’ll pressure the ball on defense and be a team that really gets after teams on both sides of the ball. These young men will not only work hard on the court but off it as well. We’re not just going to try to build a great basketball team but also good citizens that the Southmont community can be proud of.”
Byrum is a little familiar with Montgomery County as the Knights have routinely been on Crawfordsville’s schedule the last five seasons. When he begins his tenure with the Mounties he’ll look to bring Southmont more Montgomery County, Sugar Creek Classic, Sagamore Conference and ultimately sectional titles.