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Rumley tabbed to lead Rocket basketball program

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2024 at 10:40 pm

Tyler Rumley has been named head coach of the Forrest Rocket basketball program. (Post Photo by Chris Siers)

CHAPEL HILL — The Forrest Rocket boys basketball program has had a bit of turnover in the past few seasons. When the job came open for a third time in as many seasons, the administration didn’t have to look beyond its own bench to find the next head coach of the program.
Earlier this summer, Rocket assistant Tyler Rumley was named head coach of the Rocket basketball program.
Rumley is no stranger to basketball or to the Chapel Hill area, having played in Jr. Pro in Chapel Hill, all through his high school years.
“It’s a job I’ve really wanted since I started the assistant role. It’s some place I’ve really wanted to be at since I got into coaching,” he said.
Eventually, Rumley’s playing career led him to a stint playing at Bethel University.
“I played four years here and graduated in 2013 and was a freshman in 2010 when we won the district championship here. After I graduated, I got to play at Bethel (University) for three years. I kind of take a lot of my stuff from there, that I do coaching-wise,” he said.
Following his playing years with the Wildcats, Rumley entered the workforce, but was drawn back to the hardcourt.
“After my three years at Bethel, I went to work and worked a bunch of odd jobs at the time. My little brother was in middle school at the time. I was doing some little skill work and training with him. I slowly got to start coaching Jr. Pro and started doing some individual skill work for some of the Jr. Pro kids and some of the middle and high school kids,” he said.
“I’ve been the assistant here for the last four years. I was teaching at Delk-Henson last year and the job came open and I took it.”
Nothing has ever been gifted to Rumley on a silver platter and his approach one of hard work and dedication.
“That’s how I’ve always approached basketball, really having to work for everything, always.”
His familiarity with the program and the players is certainly a bonus, but transitioning to head coach isn’t without its challenges.
“For me, I think I’m having to do a little more of the adjusting right off the bat than they are. I think they’re going to have to learn a little bit more about me. They know me as the assistant and not in charge of everything. I think there will be a little bit of an adjustment,” he said.
Having graduated four seniors off last year’s team, Rumley’s focus this summer is getting as many shots up as possible, conditioning and working on key skills in building the foundation for his program.
“We had four seniors who graduated and now we have one senior, three juniors and a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. I like that challenge. I think being able to have such a core, young group and build them I want, I value that a lot,” he said.
“The fact they’re very young and I can build them up from the time they’re freshmen until they’re all the way through.”
When it comes to the X’s and O’s on the court, it all starts on the defensive end of the court for Rumley.
“For me, it’s about defense first and being able to get the stop and through that, making the game kind of chaotic and getting out and run,” he said.
So far this summer, the Rockets have attended camps facing bigger classification schools prior to the TSSAA mandated dead period.
“Once we get out of the dead period, we’ll start doing some open gyms and really start hitting the conditioning and skill work,” he said.
While it’s been a tough stretch for the Rockets over the past few seasons, Rumley hopes to stabilize the program and lay the foundation with the large group of underclassmen.
“I think it will take a little bit of time, but I do believe by the end of the year we will start to see the flashes and then going forward, be able to return all but one player and continue to build on that success by the end of the year,” he said.