Brian Stewart named Halls High boys hoops coach

By Ken Lay

A veteran high school basketball coach is returning to Knox County. And he couldn’t be happier.

Brian Stewart was named boys basketball coach at Halls High School last week. He was tapped to replace Clint Sharp, who departed for Seymour on May 1.

Stewart, an Oliver Springs High School graduate, returns to Knox County to coach for the first time since 2020. He spent the last two years as head coach at Cosby High School, where he guided the Eagles to a pair of back-to-back region tournament appearances. He was 34-25 during his two-year tenure.

He was named District 2-A Coach of the Year after leading Cosby to a regular-season league title and tournament championship. The Eagles finished 18-10 last season.

Prior to being head coach in Cosby, Stewart who resides in Powell, served as an assistant coach at Anderson County High School.  He was head coach at South-Doyle High School from 2014-20.

During his final season at the helm for the Cherokees, Stewart guided the team to its second 20-win season in program history. He won 104 games at South-Doyle.

It was family that was a major factor in his return to education in Knox County.

“It was hard to leave Cosby and it’s hard to leave anywhere because of the relationship,” Stewart said. “I loved my time at Cosby, but I had a long commute and I had to sacrifice a lot of dad time.

“On nights when we had practice, I didn’t get home until about 9 o’clock at night, and on game nights, I was even later. This was a decision that I made for my family, and what really appealed to me about Halls is their basketball tradition. I knew about Halls when I was at South-Doyle. It’s a community school and the school has great support from the community. I knew about the teams that Randy Moore had.”

Stewart’s family roots run deep in North Knox County. His wife, Carrie, is a teacher at Central High School. The couple has two children, Sophia and Jaden.

Stewart teaches personal finance and he’s happy to be returning to the classroom in Knox County.

“I’m glad to be back in Knox County Schools, and there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “I learned a lot at Cosby and I learned a lot at Anderson County. Cosby was the right place at the right time and it was a great place to be. The people treated us well, but I made this move primarily for my family.”

His hiring became official late last week and he’s ready to get to work at Halls, which struggled last season upon its return to Class 3A.

At Halls, he inherits a Red Devils team that went 11-14 last season, after making consecutive state sectional appearances in Class 2A in 2022 and 2023.