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Chatman leaves NSA for college coaching job

Former Nansemond-Suffolk and Nansemond River head basketball coach Franklin Chatman accepted the head coaching position at Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School Thursday.

Chatman coached the boys basketball squad at NSA for the past two seasons.

Starting in 1999-2000, Chatman coached Nansemond River for five seasons, winning four Southeastern District season championships in his tenure there. In 2005-06, Chatman was an assistant coach at the Apprentice School.

“It’s definitely a dream come true for me,” Chatman said. “The ultimate goal for me has been to be a college coach.”

The Apprentice School, in Newport News, provides 4- and 5-year apprentice programs for students interested in shipbuilding careers. Athletically, the Builders play at the NCAA Division III level and in the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association. Academically, students combine college course work with career-related jobs.

“Our student-athletes, they work as well. So we’ve got to make sure they’re doing all three things, school, work and basketball. We have to make sure they’re prioritizing everything because all three are important,” Chatman said.

Add to that the many tasks any college coach must take on.

“I’ll definitely be heavily involved in recruiting student-athletes. I’ll also be scheduling games. We schedule games all over the country,” Chatman said.

“I’m walking into a great situation,” he said.

In Chatman’s first season with the Saints, Nansemond-Suffolk reached the first round of the Virginia Independent School State Tournament.

Last season, with a squad made up largely of sophomores, the Saints went 5-19 with only two Tidewater Conference victories.

“Everyone at NSA was always really supportive and there was a lot of growth in the team and the kids,” Chatman said.

“It’s a sad day for me to leave NSA. At the same time, this is a dream come true,” Chatman said.