Former ACAD basketball coach Ed Wilson stands in the background as Barrett McLanahan drives to the basket at the 2018 region championship. Photo by Matthew Caldwell for Online Athens.
On July 12, 2019, Athens Academy named Michael Salvia the new head boys’ basketball coach. Ever since that moment, the dynamic of Spartan basketball changed for the near future and beyond.
The Spartans went 18-5 last season, earning the the #9 seed in the playoffs, where they lost to Savannah Country Day 50 to 49. The Spartans had been led by coach Ed Wilson from St. Simons since the 2016-2017 season, and he led the Spartans to two playoff appearances.
Wilson left the school in June 2019, and the Spartans didn’t look far to find the next coach. Michael Salvia had been coaching under Wilson during his time with the Spartans and got the promotion a month after Wilson left the school. Salvia, 34, from Liberty, New York, coached all across the country before becoming a math teacher and basketball coach at Athens Academy.
In an interview with the Athens Banner-Herald over the summer, he said, “We have a great group of kids, a great community and great support for the basketball program. I’m excited, the kids are excited, the parents are excited. A lot of people around Athens Academy are excited for the direction the boys’ basketball team is going.”
The Spartans lost Lawrence Jang, Barrett McLanahan, and Matthew Marvel, top scorers from last season, but this year’s team still has Deion Colzie, Hugh Laughlin, and many others. The Spartans will take on Commerce High School at Athens Christian on Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. after delaying the start of the season due to the football team finishing later. Athens Academy can’t wait to see what happens in this new era under a new head coach.