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Cherokee Bluff picks new boys basketball coach after departure of Benjie Wood to Buford
Josh Travis
Chestatee coach Josh Travis talks with his players during a timeout during a 2021 game. Photo courtesy Josh Travis

After two seasons as a Hall County high school basketball coach, Josh Travis is moving on. 

However, he isn’t going that far.

On Wednesday, Travis was named the new head boys basketball coach at Cherokee Bluff. 

The former Chestatee High head boys coach replaces Benjie Wood, who accepted the same position May 19 at Buford High.

“The timing was right,” said Travis of the Cherokee Bluff job. “The opportunity was available. Things are at a great place. Cherokee Bluff is a very attractive opportunity. 

“Things are (also) at a great place at Chestatee with the players there.” 

Travis’ first head high school coaching job was with the War Eagles, after 18 seasons as a college assistant coach, most of those years spent at the University of North Georgia. 

Over the last two seasons at Chestatee, he amassed a 20-34 record with one Class 4A state tournament berth.

Travis knows he’s replacing a successful coach at Cherokee Bluff. 

Under Wood, Cherokee Bluff’s first three seasons included a 49-35 overall record and second round playoff appearances in 2020 and 2021.

Cherokee Bluff’s new boys coach said his time at Chestatee was valuable, especially in going from college to the high school game.

“The hardest situation is the (high school) culture is not within one sport,” Travis said. “You’re sharing your culture because you share athletes. Chestatee taught me it can blend into each other. The biggest thing that attracted me is that I get to share the culture with the other coaches.”

A long-time assistant coach at North Georgia, Travis was a part of the program’s growth. 

He was with the men’s program for 16 seasons as a Nighthawks assistant coach. 

During his tenure as an assistant, Travis was part of the program’s semifinal trips in 2007-08 and 2012-13 in the Peach Belt Conference tournament. 

He served as an assistant woman’s basketball coach at Reinhardt College (2002-03). Prior to that, he was an assistant with its men’s basketball team (2001-02).

At Cherokee Bluff, Travis inherits a roster rich with expected returning talent and varsity experience. 

However, it comes at a bit of transition, with the Georgia High Schools Association’s ‘dead week’ period approaching, when coaches don’t have practice time with players again until June 7. 

Then, the summer schedule will kick off for Cherokee Bluff.

“The only good news is that the dead week is for everyone,” he said. ”The biggest component, for me, is getting to know these guys.”

Meanwhile, Chestatee will commence its search for a new boys basketball coach. 

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