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Hartselle’s Faron Key stands with his seniors following his 100th win at Hartselle on senior night. Key led the Tigers to 27 wins and a Regional Finals appearance this season. Special to the Enquirer/James Meadows

The Enquirer’s All-Area Boys Basketball Team: Hartselle’s Key named Coach of the Year

Hartselle’s Faron Key has been named the Enquirer’s All-Area Coach of the Year after leading the Tigers to their first Northwest Regional Final since 2003.

Key’s Tigers won 27 games, the most since they won 31 in 2001.

“This season was a big step forward,” said Key. “It is a testament to the hard work of many people working for one mission.  And to do it with the difficult schedule we played was even more impressive.  I love these boys and their commitment to being their very best every single day.”

This was his sixth season leading the Hartselle program. Over that time he has built the Tigers into one of the best teams in the state.

Key said he has always believed in building a team the right way. He has built a foundation for the Hartselle program that is based on hard work and unselfish play.

“I am so proud of the different players on the team all working for one mission,” Key said of his team’s season following their run to the Elite Eight. “I love these boys and their commitment to being their very best every single day.”

In the Tigers’ final regular-season home game, Key won his 100th game as Hartselle head coach. The win came on senior night against West Point, his alma mater. He said that winning his 100th game at Hartselle was humbling.

“I don’t think he gets enough respect in the state when it comes to coaching,” said Brody Peebles. “I respect him for so much more than basketball. He cares more about developing the character of a player first that he does about the X’s and O’s.”

Key is quick to give credit to every person involved in the Hartselle basketball program, including his assistant coaches Jake Miles, Isaac Taylor, and Blake Harbin. He also credits his managers Bryce Balch, Ty Bragwell, and Dakota Stewart for the role that they play every day in the program.

Key said that it is a blessing to coach at Hartselle and be around a great group of players but more importantly a great group of men.

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