The Ginn name is familiar to those close to Gadsden State Community College. Larry Ginn was a player on the 1969-70 basketball team and went on to be a Hall of Fame basketball and football coach. All three of his sons — Todd, Scott and Will — also played basketball at Gadsden State. Todd, the oldest son, was the coach for Gadsden State's men's basketball team for nine years, while Scott and Will served as volunteer assistant coaches.
Now, the tradition continues for the family with the naming of Scott Ginn as the new coach for the men's basketball team. He replaced Todd, who resigned April 30 to accept a coaching position at a Calhoun County sports gym.
Scott Ginn made his mark on the world of basketball as a player at Alexandria High School, where he earned the opportunity to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game. In 1998, he earned a scholarship to play basketball at Gadsden State before transferring to play point guard at Shorter College in Georgia. There, he earned a degree in middle school math and science education with a reading and physical education add-on. He eventually earned a Master of Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama-Gadsden Center.
His entire career has been spent at Alexandria, where he works as a math teacher for seventh-graders at Alexandria. He also serves as the varsity golf coach for both the boys and girls teams. Being the coach at Gadsden State is a part-time position, so he will continue working at Alexandria.
"I believe that God gave me the gift to relate to children," he said. "I accept the challenges that go with that. I work hard to be the best role model and coach I can be for them."
Ginn certainly faces a few challenges as the Cardinals' new basketball coach. Last season's team was 17-13 overall and 8-4 in the Alabama Community College Conference. They lost in the first round of the conference tournament to Chattahoochee Valley Community College. He also has only 13 scholarship positions on the team, which is two less than other community colleges in the state.
"We do have obstacles," he said. "We play in a tough conference, plus we have tough opposition in our non-conference play. We will be up against teams that are ranked in the top 25 nationally. We can't get frustrated. We're going to fight. We're not going to give up."
Ginn said he will recruit players who are good at the sport but also are driven to succeed.
The way the sport is played is very important to Ginn.
"I'd rather protect the style of play than my record," he said. "I will not compromise the purity of the game to win. We will use the fundamentals. We will play as a team. We will have fun playing as a team. When we win, we will celebrate because we got there as a team."
Not only is Ginn willing to work hard for his team but he's also going to put focus on increasing attendance at home games.
"We need the support of our community," he said. "I'm looking for support from the stakeholders in Gadsden State and the communities we serve — our college leadership, faculty and staff; our elected officials; our students; our parents. Rally around us. You'll see a team that plays hard and fights to the end. We might not always win, but you'll get your money's worth when you come see us play."
For Ginn, being a teacher and a coach is all about the celebrations that come with the challenges.
"I want to celebrate all of my students' and my players' gifts, whether it's sports, academics, music, performing arts, whatever it may be," he said. "I want them to use their talents to do good. I want them to grow to be good, responsible citizens. A lot of my players will grow to be coaches themselves because athletics is their gift. I'm here to cultivate that gift; to help them be the best they can be."