Bethlehem Christian Academy will be searching for a new head boys’ basketball coach as Robert Strong is leaving the school.

Strong has been hired at East Jackson as a basketball coach in some capacity, though what his specific role will be is not yet clear as the school currently has boys’ and girls’ head coach openings, East Jackson athletic director Shawn Lindsey said Tuesday.

Strong said Tuesday his wife teaches at East Jackson and it was a chance for him to “be there with her at a great school.”

“I thank (East Jackson principal Chanda Palmer) and Shawn Lindsey for the opportunity to be there, and I am excited to be going there,” Strong said. He added he would be able to comment further once his role is finalized.

Strong spent the last two years with the Knights and took the program to historic heights. After winning just eight games in Strong’s first season in 2017-18, the Knights went a school-best 23-7 this winter and reached the GISA Class AAA Final Four before losing to eventual state champion The Heritage School. Strong was named the Mainstreet Newspapers All-Area Coach of the Year for Barrow, Jackson, Banks and Madison counties. Prior to joining BCA, the nearly-25-year coaching veteran led Hendersonville High School in North Carolina to three Elite Eight appearances and was an assistant at West Forsyth and head coach at Mount Paran in Georgia before spending two seasons back in North Carolina at Cape Fear High School, where he also oversaw a program turnaround similar to what he accomplished with the Knights.

“We are thankful for Coach Strong and all of the ways he has strengthened our basketball program,” BCA headmaster Rhonda Whiting said last week.

BCA and new athletic director/head football coach Gus Felder now have two basketball openings to fill. The school is also searching for a head girls’ basketball coach. Mike Griggs left the school in January, halfway through the Lady Knights’ season, in what school officials at the time characterized as a “mutual parting of ways.” Assistant coach Julie Cavoretto took over the team on an interim basis.

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