East Ascension head basketball coach Barry Whittington, Jr., has left the program midway through the fifth year of his tenure with the Spartans.

East Ascension head basketball coach Barry Whittington, Jr., has left the program midway through the fifth year of his tenure with the Spartans.

Whittington has resigned in order to become the new Assistant Principal at Dutchtown High School.

"When people look at us coaches, a lot of times, they don't realize that we're also teachers and educators," Whittington said. "That aspect is very important to me, and I've been working hard and grinding in graduate school to get an opportunity like this one. It wasn't an easy decision. It took a lot of deliberation, but I think it's the best move for me and my family in the long term."

In Whittington's departure, longtime assistant coach Tyler Turner will be taking over as East Ascension's interim head coach. The Spartans are currently 14-8 for the season.

"As a team, they've started to turn the corner," Whittington said. "I think a big advantage Coach Turner has is that he's been there for a while, so the kids know him. He's a good coach. I think he's well-equipped to do a good job, and the team is good enough to make the playoffs and make some noise. I wish those guys all the best."

Whittington is an East Ascension alum.

The Spartans experienced tremendous success during his five years as the head coach.

Prior to taking over for Hall of Fame coach Kenny Almond (who left to coach at Zachary), Whittington was the head coach at Donaldsonville, where he led the Tigers to the state semifinals in 2014.

In his second year with East Ascension, Whittington made a return to the semifinals.

He leaves the program with an overall record of 106-48. In four full seasons, the Spartans reached the playoffs three times and won five postseason games.

"When I came back, my top priority was getting the program back to where it was under Coach Almond," Whittington said. "I wanted to be able to carry on that great tradition. I think we did a good job of that. Most importantly, I think we made great connections with the kids. They were proud to wear the blue and gold and represent East Ascension."