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Auburn introduces new girls basketball coach

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – Auburn High School officials have introduced Milwaukee native Jason McClelland as the school’s new girls basketball coach.

When play tips off in November, all four Rockford Public Schools 205 high schools will have new girls basketball coaches.

McClelland comes to Auburn from HOPE Christian Schools where he served in case management, mentorship, special education and security. Pending school board approval, McClelland will serve as a building support specialist.

McClelland began his coaching career when he was 18-years-old, coaching an AAU team. 

“We’re excited for the energy coach McClelland is going to bring to the program, and we’re looking forward to see him build on coach (Darryl) Watkins’ success,” Auburn Athletic Director Brad Pemberton said in a news release.

Watkins coached Auburn for two years. The Knights were 12-16 in 2017-2018 and improved to 15-15 in 2018-2019.  The team’s top player, Brooklyn Gray, is only a sophomore. Watkins left Auburn to take the head women’s basketball coaching job at Rock Valley College.

McClelland won’t be the only new face on the basketball sidelines for RPS 205. Greg Fiorucci, the East boys soccer coach, is taking over the E-Rabs girls basketball program. Amber Lee-Black, Jefferson’s girls track coach, will head the basketball program. Leon Smith, a former East girls basketball coach is now in charge of the Guilford program.

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