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March 18, 2014

Fuhrmann Accepts HRA Gig

After a successful four-year run at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, Chris Fuhrmann has decided to step down as the Head Basketball Coach to take another job in the Tidewater area. Fuhrmann is leaving the public school ranks to join the private school sector at Hampton Roads Academy, where he will teach math and serve as Head Basketball Coach.

"The opportunity presented itself and things lined up that needed to line up. Honestly, it's probably more the teaching position than the basketball situation that persuaded me to make the move," Fuhrmann told VirginiaPreps.com.

"I'm very appreciative of Western Branch giving me my first opportunity coaching and enjoyed my time there. I'd like to think we can build a program over there at HRA. They've got great facilities, an administration that supports athletics from what I can tell and I'm looking forward to it."

Hired by the Bruins as Head Coach in May of 2010, Fuhrmann posted a 51-47 overall record there. That was highlighted by an 18-9 mark in 2012-13 that included a victory over Kellam in the opening round of the Eastern Region Tournament to earn them a trip to the Norfolk Scope, where they were ousted by Kecoughtan in the quarterfinals. It was their first region playoff win since 1999.

The Bruins' 16-9 record in 2011-12 snapped a string of 11 straight losing seasons. Prior to Fuhrmann's arrival at Western Branch, the Bruins had gone 45-144 in the previous nine seasons with a record of 34-110 against Southeastern District foes.

This past season, Western Branch fell just short of making it three consecutive regional playoff appearances when they lost to Grassfield, 53-50 in the quarterfinals of the Monitor-Merrimac Conference Tournament to close out the campaign at 11-12 overall, 4-6 in conference play.

Fuhrmann, 29, and his wife have a one-year-old daughter. They figured the timing was right for a change of scenery.

"For me, I don't want to ever say no to an opportunity or be scared to take a chance. I do look at it as an opportunity to still grow. I feel like there are some opportunities that may present themselves there that I may not be able get where I'm at," noted Fuhrmann, who played basketball at Portsmouth Christian and Methodist University.

"I pursued it and felt like if I get offered then it's what God wanted me to do. I spoke with my family, including my wife and my dad, who has a big basketball background, and it felt right.

Chris' father, Jeff Fuhrmann, coached at both Portsmouth Christian and Atlantic Shores. Jeff was a member of the Old Dominion University basketball team that won the Division II National Championship in 1975. In 1996, Jeff was inducted into the ODU Sports Hall of Fame.

Last December, Max Gillespie stepped down as HRA's Head Basketball Coach after amassing 551 career wins, most of them coming in his 33 years with the Navigators.

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail [email protected], and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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