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High school basketball: Flowery Branch names new boys coach
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Flowery Branch has a new boys basketball coach who is eager about the opportunity. 

On Wednesday, assistant coach David Hawkins was promoted to the head-coaching position, which became available when Jay Burney stepped down March 15. 

Hawkins has been at Flowery Branch the past five seasons and now has a long background of working as an assistant coach in boys basketball. 

In addition to Burney, Hawkins served as an assistant coach for five seasons at Gainesville under coach Benjie Wood, including the season it played for the 2018 state championship. 

Hawkins also worked at Johnson with Jeff Steele, who guided its program to many deep playoff runs, including the state quarterfinals in 2013.

“I’ve had a chance to work under some great coaches who’ve won a lot of game,” Hawkins said. “They all bring something different to the table. But they were all able to develop players and kids.”

A Johnson High graduate, Hawkins’ first coaching experience was as the Knights’ baseball coach, a job he did for 10 years. He was an assistant baseball coach at Gainesville when it made the state finals in 2015.

However, Hawkins also played basketball in high school and thoroughly enjoys the speed of the game. 

“We are very excited to have coach Hawkins take over our basketball program. He has been an outstanding assistant coach for us the last few years and I’m certain he is the right guy to lead us to the next level,” Flowery Branch athletics director Jimmy Lawler said. “David brings a hard work ethic and a tremendous basketball mind. And the fact that developing relationships is important to him, we could not have found a better coach.”

In 2023, Flowery Branch finished with a 15-10 mark and fifth-place finish in a challenging Region 8-5A, a big step up from the winless season the Falcons posted the first year Burney was in charge. 

Even though Flowery Branch will graduate nine seniors from the 2023 program, Hawkins is enthusiastic about the interest in the program, a direct result of the work his predecessor poured into the program. 

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