12/04/12 — A new Gator in "The Swamp" -- Basketball is Cotten's game

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A new Gator in "The Swamp" -- Basketball is Cotten's game

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 4, 2012 1:48 PM

Charlie Cotten waited and trusted his opportunity would come at the right time.

His patience has paid off.

Cotten, who has been involved with basketball nearly his entire life, was recently named the new varsity girls' basketball coach at Spring Creek High School. He replaced Amanda Ramfjord, who resigned in June to accept a position at her alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Dalton, Ga.

Cotten grew up in Sanford and spent nearly two decades in the United States Air Force. He played basketball in the United States and overseas while serving his country, and began his coaching career as a volunteer at youth centers on various Air Force bases.

During tours in Germany, England, Belgium and Turkey, Cotten coached men's and women's basketball teams, and also coached softball.

Cotten moved to Goldsboro in 2007 and got involved in the youth basketball leagues. He coaches basketball and softball at Seymour Johnson AFB, and also conducts basketball skill training sessions and organizes summer basketball leagues that helps him keep a close watch on prep basketball in the area.

He observed Spring Creek's program and developed working relationships with members of the team through individual training sessions.

"The thing that attracted me to the job is that I saw a need for some players that were lacking skill development," Cotten said. "I wanted to be a part of that. Some of the parents recognized what I was doing and there was some mutual interest displayed in the job. I've always said I would love to coach at the high school level."

Cotten's military background significantly impacts his coaching philosophy and the values he hopes to instill in his players. Discipline and hard work are just a few of the things he's teaching the Gators, who are 0-3 but have shown improvement in terms of competitiveness and cohesiveness on the court.

Spring Creek returns juniors Alyssa Borja and Mikeala Duffy, and has several underclassmen on the roster.

"Discipline is the key to anything that you do in life," Cotten said. "Hard work doesn't say you are going to be successful but it certainly gives you a great opportunity. The military taught me a lot about hard work, sacrifices and versatility.

"Everything doesn't always go your way but you have to persevere."