Gilmore resigns as Stuttgart’s boys basketball coach

Correction: Stuttgart competes in the 2-4A Conference and did not make the 4A state basketball tournament in 2012. Headline reflects the correct person who resigned.

STUTTGART — When basketball season tips off for the Stuttgart boys basketball team this fall, it will do so with a new head coach.

Rodney Gilmore turned in his resignation on Thursday, which was approved by the board Thursday night. Stuttgart athletic director and football coach Billy Elmore said the school would begin accepting applications as soon as possible.

“We will advertise the opening and try to get someone in here before the season begins,” Elmore said. “We would like to get someone in from the outside, but if we don’t, we will promote from within.”

Gilmore is leaving to assume an assistant coaching position for the girls program in Maumelle. He was 48-40 in three years with the Ricebirds.

“I have been on the road for six-plus years,” said Gilmore, who made the daily trek to Stuttgart from Little Rock. “This is an opportunity to get home. It gives me a chance to be closer to my family so it makes economical and good family sense.”

Gilmore said he was prepared to accept stepping down from being a head coach to an assistant. He will work under Laura Buckner with the Lady Hornets.

“To be a good assistant coach you have to have loyalty,” he said. “I will follow whatever she wants me to do.”

Gilmore had not met with the players prior to issuing his resignation letter. He guided the team to a 6-20 record last year after finishing runner up in the 2-4A Conference.

“I haven’t talked to the players yet,” he said. “I plan on talking to them and the parents soon.”

He said his tenure as head coach of the Ricebirds was educational.

“My experience in Stuttgart was enlightening,” he said. “And I will leave it at that.”

Elmore said the program would move forward.

“We will find someone to fill the position and continue to move ahead,” Elmore said. “We wish coach Gilmore well in his future endeavors.”