Looking long and far didn’t appear to be part of the North Davidson approach when the search for a new boys basketball coach began roughly a month ago. He was already in the building.
Josh Snyder, an assistant coach with the Black Knights for the past two seasons, has been hired to replace Brandon Mullis as the team’s next coach, Athletics Director Mark Hayes of North Davidson announced Tuesday in a press release.
Snyder, who joined Mullis’ staff in August 2017, is a familiar face at North Davidson, which saw the boys basketball team post the second-best season in school history last year. North Davidson finished the 2018-19 season with a 24-6 overall record and ended a 26-year conference championship drought. The Black Knights won the Central Carolina 2-A title, winning 17 of 18 conference games.
According to Snyder, when the head-coaching position opened, he expressed interest to Hayes, which was relayed to principal Jonathan Brown. Snyder said about a week and a half ago, there was a more in-depth discussion with Brown. Snyder had been running workouts with JV and varsity players since Mullis left the school on April 19 to replace Guy Shavers at Southwest Guilford.
“I think it’s good for the young men to have some continuity within the program,” said Snyder, a special education teacher who also has a social studies certification. “While not being the head coach the past two years, working alongside Brandon in developing those relationships with the student-athletes, supporting them in not just basketball but as a whole in other sports and being around our faculty members on a daily basis ... it’ll certainly be good, moving forward.”
Snyder initially joined the staff at North Davidson at the suggestion of Mullis, who was hired in June 2017. Both coaches previously worked at a basketball camp together at Campbell nearly a decade ago.
And Snyder brought a wealth of coaching experience to North Davidson. He was a student manager with the Appalachian State basketball program from 2007 to 2010 during part of Houston Fancher’s tenure. Snyder served as director of men’s basketball operations at Charleston Southern from 2013 to 2015, when the Buccaneers won the Big South title in 2014-15 and earned their third National Invitation Tournament bid in program history.
He was an assistant coach at Glenn for a year before returning to a similar position at Charleston Southern — this time with the women’s basketball team — along with serving as an assistant coach on an interim basis. During the 2016-17 season, the Buccaneers’ 18 wins that season set a record.
Then came his time at North Davidson.
“(Brandon) and I got to know each other really well, and he called me and inquired if I’d be interested in joining his staff if there was a teaching and coaching position that would provide an opportunity,” said Snyder, a graduate of Mount Tabor High. “That being said, it was one of those decisions where I thought it’d be a great opportunity to work in a great community.”
Snyder takes over a team that is losing eight seniors to graduation. Among those is Themus Fulks, a 6-foot-1 guard who averaged 35.2 points per game.
But there are probable returners. The Black Knights are expected to bring back Jamarien Dalton, a rising junior who averaged more than 14 points per game as a 6-foot-1 guard. He scored 20 or more points nine times last season. Landon Moore, who averaged more than 10 points, will be a senior.
Snyder said, on average, 15 players are showing up three days per week for open gym sessions, conditioning workouts and skill development.
“We want to continue running offensively and defensively, and that’s something we’ll spend time with this summer,” Snyder said. “We’ll be playing in a lot of jamborees, and that way the young men will have a chance to mesh with those moving up from JV and giving both our teams — varsity and JV — a chance to play this summer and get familiar with myself, being head coach, and the voice they’ll hear on a daily basis.”