Both Bedford High School varsity basketball teams are opening the 2021-22 seasons with new head coaches.
Leading the BHS girls is Ashley Kepaa, a successful AAU coach whose professional schedule finally provides the flexibility she needs to direct a high school team. Her first game is next Tuesday.
Coaching the boys’ varsity is Anthony Halls, who has directed the Buccaneer sub-varsity teams for the past two seasons. The team opened the season Thursday evening with a win.
Kepaa grew up in North Attleboro, playing high school basketball and volleyball. She said she actually tried volleyball, a new varsity fall sport at the time, “so I could jump higher and have better timing playing basketball.”
She ended up playing four productive years of volleyball at Castleton University in west-central Vermont, from which she graduated in 2013.
Kepaa began coaching AAU teams more than a decade ago. “I love being around the circuit of basketball, at a high level of competition, year around,” she stated. She particularly enjoys coaching younger players and watching them progress over the years. She is now coaching a team of sixth graders.
The new BHS coach supervised several child-care programs at a YMCA, but recently became director of operations at the Mass Premier sports complex in Foxborough, where she also directs AAU programs.
“There was something about Bedford that just really drew me in,” Kepaa said about her interest in the position. “I could tell that there’s a lot to work with. I saw a lot of positive trends within the program after watching some films. They have done nothing but impress me since I’ve been there.”
Halls received a degree in marketing in 1999 and a master of business administration degree 10 years later, both from Providence College. He is a financial services professional with an office in Waltham.
Halls’s coaching resume mirrors that of Ryan Kilian, his predecessor at BHS. Kilian died unexpectedly last July at age 42. The two were friends since their days as and teammates at Concord-Carlisle High School in the mid-1990s.
Most of the 2021-22 Bucs played for Coach Kilian, and Hall said, “I’m really proud of them for the way they’ve handled themselves.”
“My first coaching job was at Concord Academy for a year,” he said, followed by positions at the Bromfield School in Harvard and Southeastern Regional Vocational in Easton.
“For this team to be successful, we’ve got to be successful on the defensive end,” the head coach said. “You’re not always going to hit your shots but defense has to be a focal point, and guys are going to have to make some sacrifices to have the success that we want.”
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763