Posted: 1:07 pm Friday, April 11th, 2014

Willie Shelton named Benjamin’s new girls basketball coach 

By Anthony Chiang

Willie Shelton has been on Benjamin athletic director Ryan Smith’s radar for a while.

It paid off for Shelton, as he was named Benjamin’s new girls basketball coach on Friday. Shelton attended Benjamin as a student, but he graduated from Palm Beach Gardens High.

“Many of our faculty and staff know Willie from when he was a student here,” Smith said. “He’s pretty well known in the community as a good coach. People have mentioned his name in the past when we had openings also.”

Shelton will replace Chris Nordland, who stepped down after leading the Buccaneers to a 16-8 record in his only season as the Buccaneers’ coach. Nordland, who has three young children, will stay at Benjamin as the school’s Upper School Physical Education and Director of Summer Programs.

“Chris is raising a young family, his wife works full time and he’s a full-time physical education teacher,” Smith said. “It was tough balancing everything.”

Before being hired by Benjamin, Shelton was an assistant girls basketball coach at Oxbridge Academy and Palm Beach Lakes. He was also the head girls basketball coach at Roosevelt Middle School.

The Buccaneers will not return last season’s top three scorers — Riley Burke (15 ppg), Arden Pettit (11.6 ppg) and Hannah Labovick (9.2 ppg).

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