KEARNEY, NE — A longtime Kearney coach and educator is the Bearcats’ next girls basketball coach.

Kearney High announced Friday that JD Carson was selected to lead the girls basketball program. He has taught and coached at Kearney Public Schools since 2012. He is the head girls golf coach and served as assistant girls basketball coach for the last 10 years. He currently teaches World Geography and World History at the high school.

In a news release, Activities Director Ryan Hogue said his priorities in the search were to find someone who understands how to succeed when competing against schools with more students and “big city amenities.”

“The ‘Kearney High Way’ is real and successful. To hire someone who has lived it as an athlete and now as a coach was vital for us.  Coach Carson has lived in this world for the last 10 years as an assistant coach for the Bearcat Basketball program. I know he will work extremely hard to make us competitive night -in and night-out while continuing the great tradition and culture we have with our girls basketball program,” Hogue said in a news release. “I not only trust him but believe in him to be the next great head coach for KHS.”

Carson is a Kearney High graduate and played basketball for the Bearcats. As girls golf coach, he has taken Kearney to the state tournament in six out of seven seasons. He also coached boys golf form 2016-18 and guided the Bearcats to three-straight state tournament appearances.

“I am very honored to be selected to lead the Bearcat basketball program. Bearcat basketball has always been a big part of my life,” Carson said. “My goal will always be to make Bearcat basketball a worthwhile, meaningful experience that the young kids in our community will be excited about from an early age because that's what it always was for me.”

Carson graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2012 and is endorsed in Natural and Social Science . He has a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration Grades (7-12) and an additional Master’s Degree in Educational Administration Grades (PreK-8).

Carson replaces Kyle Fletcher, who resigned his head coaching duties in February.