Campbell takes reins of Sam Houston girls basketball

One of the area’s most successful girls basketball coaches is stepping aside, but an orderly transition is expected at Sam Houston.

Hurricanes alum Marchae Woods will take over as girls sports coordinator for the 2022-23 school year after eight years in charge of the basketball program. Chancy Campbell was promoted from within to take the reins.

“Coach Woods has done a great job of building the program,” said Campbell, who has been Woods’ assistant coach for five years. “She has done a great job of developing young women, both in the classroom and on the court.

“I want to maintain the foundation we already have and take it to the next level.”

Woods replaced her high school coach Milyse Lamkin for the 2014-15 season, only a few months after Lamkin died of cancer. She had been Lamkin’s assistant.

As Hurricanes coach, Woods compiled a 154-102 overall record. (.602 winning percentage) and an 88-40 district mark (.688), which included an outright championship in 2017-18 and a co-championship this season.

Sam Houston qualified for the playoffs in seven of eight years under Woods’ guidance. The Hurricanes advanced to the area round five times and the Region IV quarterfinals twice.

“Chancy and I grew up knowing each other,” Woods said. “I’m excited for him. That guy is amazing. He’s going to continue to elevate the program. He’s a very hard worker, he has a great relationship with his players and he’s very invested in the community.”

Campbell coached football, boys soccer and boys basketball before joining the girls basketball program. He has more than 10 years of coaching girls basketball between his experience at Sam Houston and the SA Finest AAU program.

He serves as program director for SA Finest in addition to coaching 15-and-under and 16-and-under teams. His father, Michael Williams, has Sam Houston players on his SA Finest team.

“I learned so much from Marchae and Chancy,” said Sam Houston football coach/athletic coordinator Jeremy Williams, who was a girls basketball assistant in 2019-20. “I like that Chancy is detail-oriented and he develops kids. This whole situation is a blessing.”

Sam Houston returns nine players, including four starters led by Amya Miller-Singleton (15.0 points a game) and Chamariel Henderson (9.3). Cheyanne Mitchell (6.3) returns at point guard after missing most of 2021-22 because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Campbell wants to emphasize developing passing, dribbling and decision-making. He has high expectations for the 2022-23 Hurricanes.

“We’ll take it a day at a time,” he said, “but our goal is to win district, bi-district and area. That’s the mindset, and our players wouldn’t have it any other way.”

As coordinator, Woods wants to raise all Hurricanes girls athletic programs to that level.

“It’s something I’ve been considering for a long time,” Woods said. “When it came open, it felt like a good opportunity to impact more kids. I graduated from Sam Houston, so it’s really important for me to help build other programs at our campus.”

Woods drew from the lessons she learned from Lamkin and input from SAISD assistant athletic director Courtney Davis, who was Sam’s volleyball coach in 2014-15.

“I was at a young age when I was put in the (girls basketball) position,” Woods said. “I’ve seen some growth as a person and as a coach. I can’t even explain what Coach Lamkin meant to me. She made sure her players grew and became a part of the community. It meant a lot to be in the program and build up our kids.”

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