Stu Vetter may have taken his 321 wins, his 2011 National High School Invitational title, his resume boasting more than 40 Division I college athletes and three that played in the National Basketball Association when he resigned in June, but don’t expect the Mustangs to take a step back.
About two months after Vetter resigned, saying he wanted to visit his former pupils, the Mustangs hired Bryan Bartley from Hebron Christian Academy (Dacula, Ga.).
“The hiring of coach Bartley shows our continued commitment to both academic and athletic excellence as a Christian school,” Montrose Christian Athletic Director Bill Vernon said in a news release. In addition to his duties as the basketball coach, Bartley will also serve as an assistant principal and director of advancement.
Bartley played three years of college ball for Upsala and a professional season in Portugal from 1989-1990. He’s been on the marketing side of the sport with the Atlanta Hawks and the coaching side at the high school level for Landmark Christian (Ga.). He was also an assistant at Auburn for three years and a recruiting director for one. Most recently, Bartley was the athletic director for the past two years at Hebron. Now, he’s secured one of the country’s most prestigious names in high school hoops.
“The only thing that I know is that Stu does a very good job,” Bartley said. “As far as I’m concerned, I want to continue the success that Montrose had. My top priority is to make sure the kids are prepared for the next level. I want to put things in place that allows them to adjust to the next level.”
In his nearly decade and a half stint with the Mustangs, Vetter built a nearly incomparable system for preparing his athletes to make the transition from high school to college. Bartley, given his three years coaching and recruiting in the SEC, understands full well the challenges of not just prepping high schoolers for the college level, but the most effective means of getting his athletes recruited as well.
“There are still kids who want to come here, to Montrose,” he said. “To me, it’s a smaller scale of a college. It’s going to be pretty much the same thing I was doing at Auburn.”
Bartley has his work cut out for him in replacing graduates Ishmail Wainright, now with Baylor, and Mark Williams, now with Temple, as well as transfers Therence Mayimba and Justin Robinson. But Montrose is still Montrose, and that name will perpetually carry a lot of weight in wooing talented high school players.
“I think No. 1 is to get quality kids that focus on the mission of this being a Christian school,” he said. “Get the kids, bring in a quality coaching staff, finalize the schedule and I think that’s one, two, three. ... The windshield for the future is huge.”