High school coaching changes in Kentucky

mfields@herald-leader.comJune 21, 2013 

Champ Ligon

Champ Ligon, who has been looking for a head coaching job in basketball since he left Bryan Station's boys after the 2010 season, is back in a familiar place.

He's the new girls' coach at Male, where he was the boys' coach in the late 1990s.

"I'm really excited," Ligon said. "I've been working with the girls for a week now, and they're really motivated to get better and work hard."

"It's similar to the situation at Bryan Station when I got there. They should have a good program at Male. It's just a matter of keeping the girls here that are getting siphoned off by other schools."

Ligon was at Bryan Station eight years and had a record of 146-87, including a 30-3 mark in 2008 when the Shelvin Mack-led Defenders were rated No. 1 in the state.

Ligon also previously coached at Atherton, Male and Shelby County. He has a career record of 364-207.

Ligon was a boys' assistant to Jimmy Just at Manual the last two years. When Manual girls' coach Stacy Pendleton announced early last season he was resigning at the end of the 2013 season, Ligon got interested.

"I spent a good chunk of the year paying attention to the girls' game, and what adjustments would need to be made with the style I like to play."

Ligon was optimistic about his chances when he applied for the Manual job. But the Crimsons instead hired Jeff Sparks from Male.

Undeterred, Ligon shifted his focus and went after the Male job. After a long wait, he got the good news.

"I've been passed over for numerous jobs over the last few years, and it was getting pretty frustrating," Ligon said. "I appreciate (Male athletics director) John Kelsey giving me the opportunity.

"I convinced them I wasn't just taking this as a stepping-stone. I'm not looking to do anything except put Male girls' basketball on the map."

■ John Hunt, a Bullitt East assistant the past four years, will succeed Troy Barr as the Chargers' boys' coach. Barr was 249-95 in 11 years, including three region titles.

■ Green County has hired Keith Young as its new boys' basketball coach. Young is familiar with the 5th Region. He averaged 21 victories in 12 years at Adair County, highlighted by a region title in 1995. He also coached at Hermitage Springs, Tenn.

■ Four of Paul Laurence Dunbar's five senior boys' basketball starters have made their college choices.

E.J. Floreal will walk on at Kentucky. Will Gary will be a preferred walk-on at Eastern Kentucky. Mike Smith has signed with Pfeiffer University, a Division II school in North Carolina. Taylor King is headed to Spalding University in Louisville. Eric Trigg is still undecided.

■ Gary Kidwell, a long-time coach and athletics administrator at Lewis County, will be inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa. Kidwell is also a former baseball and softball umpire, and former KHSAA Board of Control member.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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