Ryan Scoggins, who was named varsity boys basketball coach for Dalton High School on Tuesday, said it's an opportunity he's been seeking for some time.
The Dalton Board of Education approved Scoggins' appointment on Tuesday. He comes to Dalton after 17 years coaching multiple sports at Northwest Whitfield High School.
"I'm super excited for the opportunity," Scoggins said. "Being a head basketball coach has always been in my heart. It's been a dream that I've always kept, but it's never worked out before. I'm just really excited. I know Dalton has a tremendous basketball program and I can't wait to get started next week."
Scoggins leaves Northwest where he has served as the varsity boys soccer coach since 2002 along with several stints as a varsity boys basketball assistant coach. He will replace David Brock at Dalton, who resigned less than a month ago, and according to Dalton athletics director Jeff McKinney, securing Scoggins as the next basketball coach worked out perfectly.
"First of all, it was his character. He's a top-notch person," McKinney said. "He's always wanted to be a basketball coach, and it was a great fit for both of us."
Scoggins also served as a freshman boys basketball coach, junior varsity boys basketball coach and assistant football coach during his time at Northwest. In 2018, Scoggins earned National Soccer Coaches Association Coach of the Year for the state of Georgia after leading the Northwest boys soccer team to a Class 4A state championship.
Despite his time coaching soccer, coaching on the hardwood has always been the goal for Scoggins.
"It's never really mattered what level I've been coaching at, basketball has always been my favorite sport," Scoggins said. "I've absolutely loved being the soccer coach at Northwest, but now having the chance to build a culture with a basketball team at Dalton, I just can't wait."
Scoggins said he's always been a fan of an uptempo style of offensive basketball, and envisions his defense being a high pressure, uptempo style as well. He said he plans on spending this summer evaluating the players at Dalton and building a system around their strengths, and didn't shy away from the competition level in Region 6-6A.
"I embrace the challenge of that region," Scoggins said. "If you want to get better then you want to face good competition. Look, I've been around sports long enough to know that controlling what we can control can carry you a long way."
Scoggins will speak to the returning Dalton basketball players this morning at the school, and said one of the aspects he's most excited about is transitioning from Tunnel Hill Elementary, where he served as a physical education coach, to Dalton High School where he will also be a physical education teacher.
"This will be the first time I'll be teaching in the building with the kids I coach," Scoggins said. "To be a part of the whole culture of the school, it's going to be really cool."
Scoggins said he's received nothing but positive messages from coworkers at Northwest, who will watch their soccer coach move to a crosstown rival. Scoggins recognizes the importance of the rivalry, but said he thinks most will understand the greater importance of treating your opponent, no matter who they are, with respect.
After leaving the Board of Education meeting, Scoggins couldn't help but reminisce on his journey.
"This dream that I've had to be a head basketball coach is something that several times I thought about giving up on," Scoggins said. "If someone can get anything out of this, I just want people to see not to give up -- that God will work things out.
"He kept that little whisper in my heart, and I encourage people to keep plugging away because their chance will come. That's something that I've learned these last 24 to 48 hours -- dreams can come true."