Dave LaBarrie back as Heritage hoops coach

A familiar face will be on the basketball sidelines at Heritage this coming winter.

Dave LaBarrie has been hired as the girls basketball coach, his second stint as head man at the Conyers school. LaBarrie, who led the Patriots from 2006-2010, was the head coach at Social Circle last season.

LaBarrie takes over for Lauren Chambers, who went 14-40 in two seasons, including a 3-25 mark a year ago, then stepped down as coach two weeks ago. Now LaBarrie will be asked to turn around a program that has missed the state playoffs for six consecutive years, last reaching the postseason in LaBarrie’s second season of his original tenure in 2008.

“Coach Chambers made the decision to step down as our girls basketball coach, we immediately started thinking we got to get a new coach. We were happy to have (LaBarrie) before, immediately we were thinking ‘is there any chance we could get him back?’” said Heritage athletic director Chuck Landy. “First person we thought of (was LaBarrie). He was very interested in coming back and we were very interested in having him back.”

LaBarrie, who in 1997 won a Class AAAA girls state championship at Stone Mountain High School, became an administrator at Heritage after the 2009-2010 season, which didn’t allow him to continue as girls basketball coach. He was an assistant principal for three years, then retired before his short stay at Social Circle.

“Coach LaBarrie is an excellent coach (and) he’s a good person to be around,” Landy said. “He’s just so passionate.”

LaBarrie will join Vernon Denmark, who is about to start his second season as head of the boys team, to form what Landy feels is an excellent duo at the top of the school’s basketball program.

“We’re pleased with the coaches that we have,” said Landy. “We feel like we got good strong leadership in the basketball program.”