SAN ANTONIO — A little more than two years ago, Brett Carr’s life, literally, was at a cross roads.
Carr, the longtime highly successful basketball coach at Tatum High School, suffered a heart-attack on Dec. 28, 2010.
It was a long journey back with rehab; and then there was a period where the right dosage of medicine was a mystery.
“For a while, I didn’t know if I could coach again,” said Carr, who is coaching the South in the 68th Annual Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Game tonight. “I wasn’t feeling right; and finally we got the right medication.”
Carr said he was blessed with Tatum coach and friend Andy Evans working with him, along with his family and staff. Plus, “I thank the Good Lord.”
Now at 45, he is feeling better than ever.
Since that fateful day, Carr has led another Tatum team to the state tournament championship game (2011) and now gets to coach all-stars tonight.
“This is such an honor,” Carr said. “I am so happy for my staff (assistant coaches Marcus Clark and Shane Myer and trainer Colby Barron).”
Tipoff for the basketball game, which is presented by Fuddruckers, is 7:30 p.m. tonight at Bill Greehey Arena on the St. Mary’s University campus. The game will be webcast live on FOXSportsSouthwest.com and FOXSportsHouston.com. It will be rebroadcast on Fox Sports Southwest at midnight Friday.
Irionically, it is coaching rematch of the 2011 state championship game, a 55-54 win by Idalou over Tatum. Idalou’s Tyler Helms is coaching the North.
The South All-Stars include guard Jason Gentry of Hondo (Dallas Baptist), guard Mitchell Badillo of Cypress Falls (Incarnate Word), guard Garek Duenez of Austwell-Tivoli, guard Jeffery Rodewald of San Antonio Alamo Heights (Collin County Community College), forward Shawn Prudhomme of Hardin-Jefferson (McLennan Community College), forward William Stinnett of LaVega (McLennan CC), forward Taurean Waller-Prince of San Antonio Warren (Baylor), guard Quinn Taylor of Langham Creek (Utah State), forward Andrew Ellwanger of Magnolia West, guard Stratton Williams of Rockport-Fulton (Dallas Baptist), Ronnell Jordan of San Antonio Cole and Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill (Texas).
While Carr is coaching all-stars tonight, he feels he has those type of players in Tatum.
“I think there is something in the water at Tatum,” Carr said. “I am always blessed with fantastic kids.”
Five of his students have played in the all-star game — Marcus Hill (2004), Sheldon Stoker (2005), Harrison Hartt (2007), Matt Brown (2009) and Desmond Fite (2011).
A lot has changed since Carr began coaching more than 20 years ago.
“When I started coaching I never even thought about (all-star games, state tournaments),” Carr said. “I was just happy to be coaching.”
Carr, a graduate of White Oak High School and Baylor University, was an assistant coach at Princeton, Van and Henderson before landing his first head coaching job at Pineland West Sabine. After West Sabine he was head coach at Henderson before going to Tatum where he has been the last 10 years. In 2003, he also took Tatum to the state finals.
In 15 years as head coach, his teams have been in the playoffs for 15 years with six district championships, four regional tournament appearances and two state finalists. He has been All-East Texas Coach of the Year three times.
Carr and his wife Kristi have been married 22 years and they have two children — Emily Summer, who begins Texas A&M Medical School in the fall; and Casey Landon, who will be a junior on the Tatum basketball team.
COACHING SCHOOL NOTES — Kyle Copeland of Arp will be awarded one of the 10 THSCA Scholarships. Copeland was a second-team academic all-state baseball team member. ... Three East Texans will referee the first half of the basketball game — Eddie Williams of Mount Pleasant, Ricky Roberts of Clarksville and David Pippin of Hughes Springs.