DU QUOIN -- Jason James has been hired as the new head boys basketball coach at Du Quoin High School.
James replaces Justin Barrington, who resigned after three seasons with the Indians. James was the head boys basketball coach at Du Quoin Middle School this past winter and was the high school girls JV coach for eight years before that.
"I've coached basketball for 17 years at some level," James said, including his time with the fifth-seventh grade program. "I love coaching and I love sports. I'll put the time into it. I expect good things from the boys."
James is currently the head softball coach and plans to continue in that role.
James is also a Du Quoin graduate.
"It's a program where -- I know football is Du Quoin," James said. "But it's the same boys. I played football here and did all that stuff here so I know what it's about. I know how you have to work together.
"I'm hoping the boys will attach to me the same way they do with football and we can build something in that aspect. Just get out and be disciplined and work hard. Play some defense and get after it."
James said the summer will be spent focusing on fundamentals in open gyms in addition to some tournaments where he can implement his style.
"If we have a staple, I want it to be defense," James said. "Your teams that win like Pinckneyville and Nashville, they play good solid defense. That's what we've got to do. I like running sets so that will be something to experience. We'll see what kind of team we have and adjust to them."
James is the first new hire with Derek Beard stepping into the role of athletic director at DHS to replace the retiring John Campbell. Beard, who is also the boys track coach, said he gave his input in the hiring process and was glad to see James take the job.
"Jason is a great coach," Beard said. "I'll step out to softball practice sometimes and watch him and everything is moving at a fast pace. He's very organized. He'll do a good job."