By Gianna Addario Staff Writer
The Salem News
---- — After nearly a five month long search, Swampscott High School recently named its newest girls basketball coach — Abrom Roberts.
The 28-year-old Baltimore native takes over for Jack Hughes, who stepped down back in June after 11 seasons with the program. Hughes led his squads to many postseason stints including a Division 3 state championship title in 2009.
Roberts is no stranger to the team as he was the junior varsity coach last season. He volunteered in the Beverly Kiwanis Club Leagueand and has been quite active in AAU basketball since moving to Massachusetts four years ago.
“I’m very familiar with the seven seniors just by being around the team from last year,” explained Roberts. “I was at all of the practices and when I wasn’t at home games I was out scouting for coach Hughes.
“I’m looking to bring a lot of excitement and a great attitude. I want to focus on defense and teach girls basketball skills, but also life skills. You want to build good basketball players, but you also want to build women of character.”
Roberts, who recently bought a house locally in Peabody, works as a paraprofessional in the special education department at Briscoe Middle School in Beverly.
After much deliberating, the search team headed by athletic director John Flanagan, reached a decision earlier this week.
“I saw the ad for the position and went ahead and sent my resume,” explained Roberts of the process. “I went on two interviews and the next thing you know I was offered the position. I was very patient because this what I love to do.”
Assistant coach Niña Rogers is back this season as well after working along side Hughes last year.
The winter season starts the Monday after Thanksgiving and Roberts is looking forward to getting his 12-person roster ready.
“My goal is to keep the tournament success going,” added Roberts. “We have a great group of girls with a lot of potential and we’re moving in the right direction.”
After being defeated by Pentucket in the Div. 3 North semifinals last year, the Big Blue finished at 18-4 and are looking to do some damage in the tournament this season.