Hibriten High School announced late Friday afternoon that it has removed the interim tag from boys varsity basketball coach Michael Corpening and officially named him the team’s new head coach.

Corpening was the head boys junior varsity coach and had served as a varsity assistant under Chad Keller since 2013. When Keller announced his retirement in June, Corpening was made the interim varsity head coach. Athletics Director Derek Reeves said the team went 9-3 during summer league play under Corpening’s guidance, and he said in a written statement that the work Corpening, his staff and the team have put in since the coaching change have brought a new energy to the program.

“With no hesitation, we truly believe Coach Corpening and his staff will take our program to a new level and bring a lot of excitement and discipline to our program,” Reeves wrote. “We know Coach Corpening and staff are 100% committed to making our program the best that it can possibly be and they are excited to tap into a group of young athletes with limitless abilities.”

Corpening graduated from West Caldwell in 2004 and played under Danny Anderson. He signed a full scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University. He played at Catawba Valley Community College from 2006 to 2008 where he was an all-region player; from 2008-10, he played at Southern Wesleyan University. He was an SSAC All Division team member and NCAA third-team All-American under Charles Whimphrie. He played three seasons of professional basketball in Mexico, Finland, and Canada.

“My family, staff and I are excited to continue with the opportunity to lead the Hibriten basketball program to new heights,” Corpening said. “We look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow and root ourselves in the Panther community. We are looking forward to every opportunity to teach and help nurture student athletes to be the best they can possibly be.”