Hensley returns to Lady Blue Devils’ varsity basketball bench for another go-around

Maiden High School head coach and teacher Stephen Hensley makes return as Lady Blue Devils' basketball coach.
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

There’s a new leader in charge of the Maiden High School varsity girls’ basketball program, only he’s a very familiar face, and his name is Stephen Hensley.

Hensley is taking over for longtime Blue Devils’ coach Frank Snider following his retirement in May. Snider had stints with the Maiden varsity girls (146 unofficial total games coached) and boys’ basketball teams (381 unofficial total games coached), along with the varsity football team (50 unofficial total games coached).

The Lady Blue Devils went 6-8 overall and in the South Fork 2A Conference during the 2019-20 season, finishing in fifth place. Its last postseason win came against Lincolnton in 2017 in the second-round of the 2A state playoffs.

In a press release sent in the 4arly afternoon on Wednesday, Maiden High School Principal Brian Hefner and Athletic Director Caine Houser said they were excited to announce the hiring of Stephen Hensley as the new head girls’ basketball coach.

Hensley has served as a teacher and coach for 25 years. In the press release, it said that this is Hensley’s second stint as the Lady Blue Devils’ head coach having been at the helm initially from 2004-2007.

His teams went 28-49 and made the state playoffs each of his three years, once in the Southern Foothills 1A and twice in the Catawba Valley Athletic 2A-3A. His last team went 13-13 and onto the second round of the 2A state playoffs following a 58-56 win over Shelby in the opening round on Feb. 20, 2007.

Prior to his stint as head coach, he served as an assistant to Snider during the 2003 Southern Foothills tournament championship and the 2004 Southern Foothills conference championship.

Hensley is a Freedom High grad who began teaching in Catawba County in 1996 at Catawba Intermediate School. Following this, he worked for 10 years at Maiden High, starting in 2000, and was the offensive linemen coach for nine seasons under former head football coach Tom Brown and one season for head coach Brian Brown.

He has been the JV boys’ basketball coach for the last three seasons, as well as the current head coach of the Maiden men's and women's track team. Hensley is also the co-offensive coordinator for the Blue Devils’ varsity football team.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to coach the Maiden girls basketball team. Living in this community, I have known most of these girls since they have started playing this game,” Hensley told the O-N-E. “It Is important to me and to Maiden High School to equip our players with a leader that is committed to providing a positive experience that enriches them as athletes and as people.

“I hope to continue to build upon the foundation that Coach Snider set in creating a standard of excellence for these young ladies on and off the court. I will miss working with our boys program and with Coach [Justin] Brittain, but luckily I will still get to see them all on a daily basis. I can’t wait to get started.”