The reigning Carroll County girls basketball champions will have a new leader this winter.
Francis Scott Key athletic director Ryan Kimble announced Thursday that TJ Develin has stepped down after five seasons as the school’s girls basketball coach. Develin, who also spent six seasons as an assistant with the boys basketball program, was named Carroll County Times girls basketball Coach of the Year for the 2022-23 season after leading the Eagles to the county championship.
“With the impending birth of his third child, Coach Develin decided it was the right time to step away from coaching and focus on his wonderful family,” Kimble said in a statement.
Kimble also named former Liberty assistant coach Mitchell Walther as Develin’s successor.
The Eagles won 18 games in Develin’s first season in 2018-19, winning the Carroll County championship. After the program struggled during a couple of COVID-plagued seasons, the Eagles went 19-3 last season, finishing 11-1 in county play and clinching the program’s second county title in his tenure.
After falling to eventual 1A state champion Pikesville in the regional semifinals, the Eagles ended the season with two first-team All-County selections in Ally Mathias and Drew Watkins.
Walther, who also serves as the JV baseball coach at Westminster, comes to FSK after six years as the JV basketball coach and varsity assistant at Liberty.
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“I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity at a better spot,” he said. “I’m ready to meet everyone and get to work right away.”
Under Barry Green, Walther was a member of the staff that guided the Lions to three regional championships in four seasons, helping coach and develop consecutive Carroll County girls basketball player of the year winners Jess Littlejohn and Jenna Liska.
“It was great working with Coach Green and the kids at Liberty, they were amazing,” he said. “Without my time there, I wouldn’t have been ready for this opportunity so I will forever be grateful.”
Despite Mathias’ graduation, the Eagles are still expected to return Watkins, second-team All-County guard Summer Brooks and third-team selection Ally Reiger among others.
Kimble is excited about what Walther brings to the table now that the program is under his direction.
“Coach Walther brings a wealth of coaching experience, not only at the high school level, but working within the program at West Virginia University as a student manager for the women’s basketball program,” Kimble said. “His experiences and expertise make him the right choice to lead our girls basketball program in the future.”