Longhorn and Greyhound Basketball Coaches Win COM Award


The Cobb Schools’ Athletic Department has selected the latest Coach of the Month (COM) winners. The COM award highlights a female and a male coach doing exceptional work in the District. 

In conjunction with the Atlanta Braves and Good Game Atlanta, the winners receive a complimentary one-night stay at Aloft Atlanta at the Battery and dinner from Good Game Atlanta. 

“This is a small token of our appreciation for their efforts both on and off the court,” said Cobb’s Director of Athletics, Don Baker. “Coaches teach a full day, and their days are only half-over when the bell rings at 3:30. They continue to work with our student-athletes for hours each week, often at the expense of their own spouses and children. We believe we have the best coaches in the state and want to celebrate them as much as possible!”

The current winners are basketball coaches from Kell and Pope. Kandra Bailey is the head basketball coach for the Lady Longhorns, and Pat Abney is the longtime head coach for the Greyhounds.

Kandra Bailey, Kell, Basketball

Coach Bailey has had a remarkable three years at Kell. She guided her players to the Final Four in her first year, a 5A state championship her second, and a Sweet 16 appearance this season. With an almost brand-new group of girls this year, she was able to rebuild and refocus despite a season-ending ACL tear for one of their key players. The Longhorn girls rallied and continued to improve game after game, most notably the freshman. 

“She did an outstanding job coaching this year,” said Kell Athletic Director Jeff Burch. “Going into the region tournament, they won the first game on a buzzer-beater, then upset the number-one team in the region to get to the Region Championship game, which earned them a #2 playoff seed and a home game. They won their first-round playoff game over Hiram before falling to Maynard Jackson, the eventual state champion.”


Pat Abney, Pope, Basketball

On the 30th anniversary of his hire date to the day, Coach Abney celebrated his 400th career win. He was hired on January 19, 1994, and logged his 400th victory in a home game against Alpharetta on January 19, 2024. He won another six games after that, taking his 2023-24 team to the 6A Sweet 16. His teams have averaged 20 wins per season in his 22 seasons as head coach.

“Coach Abney is the epitome of a Pope Greyhound,” said Pope AD Josh Mathews. “He understands the Pope culture better than anyone, so having him as a resource is invaluable. He mentors several other coaches and is well-connected to the early days while also bridging to the future of Pope High School and our community. His vision and diligence have also established a Hall of Fame that highlights the greatness that has been achieved individually through Pope Athletics.”

“He leads with his faith out front as it guides how he invests deeply into his players and has made lasting connections with many former players. He is a great strategist of the game of basketball, but he is an even better leader of young people. We were very proud to present him with the game ball from his monumental 400th win!” AD Mathews said about his Coach of the Month.


Great jobs, Coaches Bailey and Abney! You are both exceptional examples of Cobb Schools’ goal of being the Best Place to Teach, Lead, and Learn. Well done supporting these leaders on the court and in the classroom, Kell and Pope!