Coach Clifford calling it quits at Christian(High Point Christian Academy):Boys Basketball Coach steps down

Coach Brandon Clifford has resigned as the head boys basketball coach at High Point Christian Academy:
“I’m disappointed with how things ended — we obviously didn’t play well,” Clifford said of the Cougars’ 64-47 loss to Charlotte Providence Day. “But that had little or nothing to do with this decision. People aren’t going to believe that, and I understand that. This was more about looking back and realizing that it’s time and I had taken things as far as I could.”
from Joe Sirera post at Xtra)

HPCA finished (24-6) this past season and their season ended with that 64-47 loss to Providence Day, this past Saturday at Ravenscroft High School, in Raleigh…

Coach Clifford and HPCA had a loaded squad with tons of talent, but they brought in so much talent they set themselves up for disappointment and failure…Anything less than a NCISAA 3-A State Basketball Championship this past 2015/2016 season would be considered the team having under-achieved…They had to win that title or the ending means you came up short and to me that is putting too much pressure on a young coach, his players and his basketball program….How can that be any fun?

Does that mean Coach Clifford was not successful? No, he did a very good job, but in some ways when you put together/assemble a team with that much talent, you become more of an administrator than you are a coach….You turn the players loose and let them play and hope the outcome is good and when you do that, it takes some of the fun out of coaching, because you are no longer coaching, you just have a team with a wealth of talent and you let them go out there and run up and down the court and make sure all of the towels are in the corner when the team leaves the bench area after the game and goes back to locker room to get ready to head home…

You rack up the wins, but when you lose, you really hear about it….With talent overload and the All-Star type unit, you have yourself an AAU team playing on the highest level together, but they are a high school team and there is no room for error…You can’t make mistakes because you are supposed to be perfect, you have assembled the “perfect team”….

Well for the way things went, it was probably a perfect time for Coach Clifford to get out…He is a better man than this and deserves to be in a better setting…There is nothing wrong at with High Point Christian Academy, but what it became in the past year was maybe just TOO much…

Find a team that you can build from the bottom up with your own men that you have on hand and already in place, and that might mean more to a coach in the long-term grand scheme of things…

Just a few thoughts and not trying to take anything away from Coach Clifford or the kids he had at HPCA….It just didn’t work out it looks like from the outside looking in that Coach Clifford was not happy at the end and he was ready for a change…Maybe I don’t know what I am talking about, but I do hope the best for Coach Clifford and I hope he finds a new coaching stop that fits him in a better way…The man(Coach Clifford) can coach the Big Men, he is a Big Man and he played a Big Game over at Page back in the day and he was an East-West All-Star with a ride to UNCW and the young man Clifford could play some ball…

With the Big Man position changing in basketball maybe that is part of the problem….Got to find a way to make the game fit and adjust….We will have to find out more about that….

Everybody needs a change now and then and it was and is time for Coach Clifford to move on and maybe he doesn’t need to be in the State Powerhouse setting or with a program that is loaded from the start…Maybe it is time to start over and build a team from scratch…Some coaches have to be in that pressure cooker and for some, you reach the stage where it is time to step back and see where you really want to be…

I could ramble on about this all day long, but our intention here should be and needs to be that of wishing Coach Clifford the best in his future endeavors and his next coaching stop along the way and let’s do that by saying, Good Luck Brandon Clifford…

Now let’s turn our attention back to the story at hand that Joe Sirera has laid out at the News and Record when you CLICK HERE and my apologies again for hitting that rambling button, but nobody asked me what I thought, so I thought I would tell you any way….Good job Joe Sirera and Best of Luck Coach Clifford…

By the numbers:153-67…Coach Clifford’s record in 7 seasons at High Point Christian Academy


  1. Don’t know Coach Clifford personally, but have seen him coach! Good coach…..! Basketball in the Triad is a jungle….and if you don’t cater to parents….a coach has absolutely NO CHANCE of survival especially in private schools and a lot of the public schools…..There are hundreds of dads that are making sure that there little “Johnny” is gonna get the chance Daddy didn’t get….and no coach or anybody is gonna stand in the way of that….I mean just look at the front row of a bunch of high school games around the area….the kid looks to the stands and for dad’s instructions instead of looking the other way to the coach (who most likely made more of his career in basketball than daddy did)….so “Johnny” look the other way kiddo….Daddy ain’t the ticket…..this goes for baseball too….I’m not picking on just basketball in this rant….youth sports is being drug down by people who have no clue and have never played at any level higher than high school most of the time…newsflash….travel ball is just to pad somebody’s pockets that had a little cash and a kid who wanted to be the next Kobe or Bryce Harper….

  2. I know Coach Clifford. I have played a lot of basketball with him and I have watched him coach. He is a very good coach and he will be successful wherever he goes. He really understands this game, but I agree that this a very difficult time to coach. A lot of the parents think they know better. Btw, the man can flat out shoot the basketball. He has unlimited range!

  3. There was more internal turmoil that most anyone knew. Not between the players but the parents. I think Coach felt that if a particular player wasn’t going to get catered to his dad would pull the plug and leave with all the transfers. That was dangled over him all year in my eyes. This parent had multiple instances with the administration, even had the police come to him in the stands at Gday. It was very unfortunate , but you could tell by watching there wasn’t much fun going on that sideline. When you bring in a all star group its hard to mold them into a championship “TEAM” in a matter of months. Gday molds there kids and they play together for years and know one another very well – sometimes that is better than talent. With only having one basketball and everyone wanting the stats and attention its hard to please everyone. Where as in baseball and other sports you have to rely on your teammates – because you cant control a game by yourself- (pitchers are the exception). Basketball has to be the toughest- 1 ball and 5 guys that all want it and get those stats. Best of luck to Coach Clifford. Be curious to see who may take that job. Bet there will be a lot of applicants. There are a lot of good coaches and assistants in the area. Shavers at SW would be a good land, Kevin Thompson at Wesleyan, Gday head assistant. Rusty Larue, Howard West at FCD. It will be interesting. Best of luck Clifford.

  4. sweep under the rug hit the nail on the head. there are NO Bryce Harpers or Kobes being developed by all this travel ball. those guys got there in past and will continue to get there now and in the future by their God-given talents, no matter how much money Daddy is willing or able to spend. I have seen many a player have thousands of dollars spent on private lessons and travel ball and then never step foot on a college field. why? it’s not the high school coach’s fault as those Daddys would lead you to believe. it’s because those kids were never going be much more than average or slightly better than average high school athletes in the first place, no matter how much money was spent. and there is NOTHING wrong with being an average high school athlete. you don’t have to make it to the next level to enjoy the experience and gain from that experience. the best coaches realize that but are constantly bombarded by all those parents of “the next big thing”.

  5. I think Coach Clifford did an outstanding job this season. I think we all seen it coming that there was not going to be enough touches for the kids to get their points. A monster was created and sadly may have setback that program. I hope not though!!! My thought is will the remaining players who transferred in still stay there? Second thought is and all in Greensboro and the surrounding area knows that one particular parent wanted to bring in all that talent and now this parent has caused not one coach to resign but now 2 coaches in the past 3 years at 2 seperate schools. Threatening to pull kids is a sign of weakness and very childish. Your not always going to get your way in life. It makes you wonder will this parent also bring turmoil the the college up north. If so, two things may happen. That coach may resign or that coach will send dad and such player back home. HPCA will bounce back. I can see Rusty LaRue maybe. Don’t see Howard West leaving FCD. He had a good season this past year with his core returning next year. It will be interesting to see who comes in.

  6. Clifford is a good coach. They had a disappointing year not winning the conference or state with all that talent. It was a difficult situation to manage. My prediction is they have 3-4 down years as these current kids transfer out.

  7. Coach Clifford knew what he was getting into when he brought in the “aau team” for one year. He also knew exactly who the parents were and the attitudes and opinions they brought. You are right- when you bring players of that caliber in you are almost set up for failure. It’s state championship or bust. But with a McDonald’s all
    American and 4 other D1 players that’s how it should be. I personally heard the PGs father bashing a football team and its coaches that lost in the state championship this year. I’m not sure where all these kids and parents got the sense of entitlement to be able to move their child around from school to school. Whatever happened to the days of just playing where you went? There was no “I don’t like the coach at this school so I’m going somewhere else.” “Actually I don’t like it here either, where else can I go?” I’ll admit, it was fun seeing them play this season. My son played with a few of the guys when they were younger and it was a talented group that worked hard- just wish it wasn’t such a soap opera in the bleachers and behind closed doors.

    As far as kids who transferred in, who knows? Seegars can’t go back to public school because this would have been his senior year I assume.

    Good luck at your next gig coach and it was fun watching your team play this year.

  8. I am by far a GDS guy but I must say that I have seen Coach Clifford coach the past 3 or 4 years and I always thought he was one of the top coaches. GDS’s Coach Johnson is the standard but I felt Coach Clifford was climbing higher up the mountain every year. This year he brought all the correct tools and equipment to get to the top of the mountain but he just had the wrong crew. Some people will only want what they want and your rules and goals will always be secondary. I have known most of the parents and players at HPC for up to 10 years. They are all good people just like the coach but just like a marriage that has gone bad – it is what it is and sometimes it just does not work out. It does not always mean either party is bad. They just got married too quick because they had a few key wants in common. Again just like in the marriage that went wrong, when you have to actually depend on each other day in and day out and your self identity is wrapped up in this common bond, then you really find out whether you truly love each other or not. I think all parties will be fine as they separate from each other and find new families. Coach Clifford had a quality program before any of these players showed up and he would have been fine once they left. The players remaining would have help maintain the standards of the past and I think the “marriage issues” would have been gone with the 2016 graduation. The HPC conference is by far the best in NC and the entire Southeast US. Hopefully HPC will continue to play at this high level and get players that they can mold for a few years similar to what WES and especially GDS has done.

  9. All those players that left Page for what reason…had a better chance of winning it all if the core would had stayed at Page.

  10. I want to apologize for this being off-topic. The comment box for the topic for which I want to comment on is not up.

    I just want to say that I love the selection of Jack Emerick to the Triad All-Star game. Emerick has had one whale of a year.

    I’m also digging the selection of Zavian Jackson. That kid has got some serious hops.

  11. This is why I’ll take my public school ball and enjoy it the way it is. Give me Swest vs Nwest and I’m good with that. It’s tough when everyone on the team has the talent to play D1 at the next level.

  12. The truth is that NW would not have even won a conference game if they had played in the same league as HPC, GDS, WES, and FCD. FCD did not beat either of the other teams in their conference. Yet FCD basically dominated NW in an early season match during a super Saturday event. NW and SW are good for public schools but would find themselves over matched at the private school level. Plus let’s not ask like the public schools have all of the answers. I have read on this site many times that the Dudley players don’t like each other. If the 3 brothers on the SW team were else where, then that team would have a losing record. If you took Tre off of NW, they would barely be barely above average because the other starter can’t shoot. The grass is not greener on either side private or public. Both are good for the right player.

  13. @ OK but..

    Fair point. The Karolina Diamond AAU program played a big part I showcasing and developing a lot of these young men’s talents and abilities in the game of basketball. Their head coach, the former Page, then Montverde, then HPCs point guards father was the head coach of the diamonds and did have a role in helping the kids get noticed. But is that the fall back? Is that the argument? “But, but he helped them get scholarship money!”
    Does that give him a pass for berating and cursing at refs , bashing other schools, trashing administrations from Other schools, calling out the Page football team for losing in the state finals (the same place an over talented HPC team lost) and saying the other teams deserved it more? Does it give him a pass to personally attack the student body as well as GDS and Wesleyan communities? not role model behavior and people started taking notice. I’m surprised more people didn’t see this coming. It started at Mendenhall. That group of kids that “he” helped get money are unreal talents. Greensboro will not see a run of talent come through for hoops like the last 4 years and he has had a HUGE hand in it; but it doesn’t give him the right to act how he does. His son could have been the all time leading scorer at Page, maybe won a state championship
    And still gotten his scholarship to the school up north no matter who his high school coach was. Same with seegars and co.. Be coach able. Play for your school. Get a scholarship if you can. Make Greensboro proud.
    I am proud to have watched those boys grow up here and Ty is a nice young man. looking forward to following his career at BC. Just saying I think the soap opera that was brought on and has been around for the past 4 or 5 years was a negative.

    2 coaches resigned- and 3 high
    Schools in 2 years….people notice..


  14. Totally agree with Les from Mendenhall. It’s very enticing probably for a coach to be gifted with so much talent at one time. Given a dream team to compete with but with drama attached to it. Let’s be honest, Bam Adebayo was the golden ticket for that team. Why you think Bam, Dennis Smith Jr, Seventh Woods all left the Diamonds organization years ago? Daddy ball will never triumph in the end.

  15. Hate it for the kids who are scheduled to come back. Will Seegars and Hueitt and Bogan return? They both have multiple scholarship offers so they will be okay. Hopefully they will return but Forest Trail may sneak in and try to get them to transfer there. GDS is set with their core of players for the next 2 seasons. WES will lose a lot but should be decent depending who they bring in. FCD should return their core next year. That conference they played in has to be the toughest conference not only in the state but probably the whole Southeast. The school to watch out for will be Forest Trail over in Kernersville. They will grow fast like HPCA but without the drama.

  16. Gentlemen and ladies, this has been a very good and detailed discussion, but now might be a good time to put a wrap on this one and move on and begin to focus on today’s/Saturday’s games and activities…

    You would not want to see HPCA become an ORMA and you have to feel that the Cougars will not crumble, but that they will rebound and be back ready and strong again next year under new leadership and guidance…

Comments are closed.