SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Tonya Mackey says she knew her season as the head boys basketball coach at New Hampstead had come to an end.
“I’m ok with it,” Mackey told WTOC over the phone Wednesday. “That’s the important thing.”
Mackey, the first woman to coach a varsity boys basketball team in Savannah, is stepping down after leading the Phoenix for all eight years of the program’s existence. She says health problems led to her decision.
Mackey spent a month in the hospital this season and was placed on dialysis. During her time away, assistant coaches led the team.
In her eight years leading New Hampstead, the Phoenix reached the state playoffs seven times. New Hampstead made it to the Sweet 16 three straight years under Mackey, in 2016 through 2018.
Mackey is a basketball mainstay in Chatham County. She was a star at St. Vincent’s before playing college basketball at South Carolina State, where she was a team captain her senior year with the Bulldogs.
Mackey was named the head girls basketball coach at Johnson in 1991, a position she held for four seasons. She then spent the next 17 seasons as a coach in the college ranks, including a four year stint as the head women’s basketball coach at her alma mater.