Veteran coach and administrator Robert Byrd has named athletic director and girls basketball coach at Philadelphia High School.

The school board approved Byrd’s hiring last month.

Byrd has been in coaching since the 1994-1995 school year and has 24 years of experience in education. Actually, you could say he has been around coaching his entire life. His father, Wayne Byrd, is the legendary coach of the women’s basketball program at North Alabama where he won 222 games. Robert’s brother, Jerry Byrd, is the basketball coach at Neshoba Central.

“Coaches move a lot and it seems like I have been moving around all of my life,” Robert Byrd said. “I finished high school in Florence, Ala., so I guess you could say that’s where I’m from.”

Robert has three state championships to his credit. He won one as head coach with the New Hope boys in 2007, one as assistant coach with the Starkville High School boys, and one as the golf coach at Starkville. He has worked in administration for the past four years.

Byrd is somewhat familiar with the Philadelphia program. He served a year as athletic director and basketball coach at Newton High School a couple of years ago.

“I know we play in a very competitive region,” Byrd said. “Newton and Philadelphia always have good teams but Union, Scott Central and Lake are always competitive. The teams are evenly matched.”

Byrd said he has been getting to know his new team.

“I have been practicing four days a week with the girls basketball team but we didn’t play any games,” Byrd said. “We lost four starters from last season

As athletic director, Byrd is putting his coaching staff together. He said that Kacie Roberson has been named head coach of the slow-pitch and fast-pitch softball teams. Roberson also serves as the guidance counselor at Philadelphia High School.