Revels new girls basketball coach

Published 9:47 am Thursday, June 16, 2016

First of two stories on Davie’s new varsity girls basketball coach, Kevin Revels.

South View has massive tradition in girls basketball. The 4-A school in Hope Mills has posted 22 straight winning seasons. The Tigers won the 4-A state championship in 2006-07, going 32-0. They went 29-1 in back-to-back years (2010-11 and 2011-12). They had a 44-game winning streak between February 2006 and December 2007.

Davie pulled its new coach from the powerhouse program, naming Kevin Revels as the replacement for Dave Ruemenapp, who led the War Eagles for three years.

Revels, 42, began his coaching career in 2002 when he coached middle-school boys and girls basketball. He moved up to South View 10 years ago, coaching the freshman boys and girls basketball teams for two years. The past eight years he has been an assistant on South View’s varsity staff.

So Revels has spent years learning from the man who created the South View empire, Brent Barker. Barker is 495-114, good for an .812 winning percentage, since becoming the Tigers’ coach in 1994-95. During the past 22 years under Barker, the Tigers have recorded 16 20-win seasons and captured 20 conference championships (10 regular-season titles and 10 tournament titles). In the playoffs, they’ve reached five Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights and two Final Fours. Last season they went 21-6 to extend their streak of 20-win seasons to six. In case you’re wondering, the fewest wins under Barker came during a 15-11 season in 1998-99.

Revels might be unproven as a varsity coach, but Barker described him as the quintessential assistant and someone he believes can be really, really good as a head varsity coach. With Revels sitting by Barker’s side the past eight years, the Tigers went 187-37.

“We’re definitely going to miss him,” Barker said. “He’d been a very, very valuable member of our team for a decade. He served in lots of different capacities. In the end, he was kind of a co-head coach. I mean he did all kinds of help in planning and decision-making during games. He had certain responsibilities and I didn’t have to do it all, which took a lot off of me. And the kids loved him.

“He’s going to be fair and firm. He has a real good mind of how he wants the program to move forward.”

More impressively, the Tigers put up those remarkably consistent numbers in a fierce league. In 2013-14, Mid-South Conference rivals E.E. Smith and Seventy-First won 20 games each and Jack Britt won 19, while South View finished 22-5. When South View went 20-7 in 2012-13, Seventy-First was winning 28 of 29. When South View went 29-1 in 2010-11, Smith was enjoying a 26-8 ride. When South View “slumped” to 17-7 in 2009-10, Smith (23-2) and Seventy-First (20-5) both reached 20-plus victories. When South View went 28-2 in 2008-09, Smith (22-6) and Lumberton (20-6) were dominating as well.

“There’s outstanding basketball, not just in our conference, but in our region,” Barker said. “We play Lumberton every year and they’ve won a state championship and had some really strong teams. Seventy-First won the state championship a year or two before we did (in 2007). We played Westover every year back then and they went to the state (championship game in 2008). We’re seeing some outstanding basketball in our region.”

The longer Barker talks about Revels, the more excited he becomes.

“We’ve had lots of seasons where there were huge games,” he said. “We were in regional semifinals in 2011 and 2012. I can remember lots of times where it was crunch time, super-close games in those playoff runs, and by that time he was my right-hand person and was crucial to a lot of the decision-making.

“One year we had anticipated playing someone from the West (Regional) from Greensboro. We were really worried because it would have been a wild card with a really good record. So Kevin left practice and drove all the way there without me asking him to and did a full scouting report. We didn’t wind up playing them, but that’s the kind of commitment he had as an assistant coach.

“Everyone is going to really enjoy him and he’s going to do a great job.”