When Greg Coldiron was introduced Monday as Lafayette's new boys' basketball coach, he didn't need to be versed in the program's rich tradition.
Coldiron was aware of Lafayette's rich hoops history, which includes six state titles, before he became a Lafayette assistant three years ago.
"I've known for a long time that this is a great program, and I'll try to carry on the tradition," he said.
Coldiron was head coach at Powell County for five years, and the school went to the Sweet Sixteen in 2003. He also coached at Cawood for seven years and at Russell County for two years.
Coldiron was reluctant to apply for the Lafayette job out of respect for Damon Kelley, who was told in mid-March that he wasn't going to be rehired as coach.
"I sort of took a step back and looked at everything. I didn't just jump in there," Coldiron said.
He didn't put his name in the hat until a couple of weeks after the state tournament, and with Kelley's blessing.
Lafayette Athletics Director Mike Wlosinski said Coldiron's head-coaching experience wasn't what made him an attractive hire.
"Greg has already proven he can coach," Wlosinski said. "The most important factor was his character and leadership qualities.
"The No. 1 priority for our coaches is to build strong, positive relationships with the players, and he has the qualities to do that."
Coldiron knows that the competition in the 11th Region is "as good as it gets. Almost every night you're playing a team that's somewhere in the top echelon of Kentucky high school basketball. I think that's exciting, and I know our kids think that's exciting."
Coldiron, 48, played high school hoops at Cawood and college ball at Morehead State.
Hammonds leaving West
Robert Hammonds, who guided West Jessamine to the semifinals of the boys' Sweet Sixteen two months ago, is the new coach at Letcher County Central.
Besides coaching, Hammonds, 36, will be an assistant principal at his new school.
He said he might have stayed at West Jessamine if he had been allowed to be in administration and coach.
"The school supported me on doing that, but the central office did not," Hammonds said. "So I'm gone.
"The tough part is leaving the players. They are my family, a special group of young men. I'm definitely going to miss them."
Hammonds was at West Jessamine for three years and had an overall record of 71-30, including a 28-9 mark this season. He previously coached at Bracken County.
■ Veteran coaches Dave Fraley and Mike Flynn are getting back in the game.
Fraley, who led Pulaski County to the 1986 Sweet Sixteen title, has been hired as Knott County Central's new coach.
Fraley stepped down as Pulaski County coach late in the 2005-06 season. He has been out of coaching since. He has a career record of 637-221.
Flynn, who led Warren Central, Holmes and Ashland Blazer to state tournament appearances, is the new coach at Highlands.
Flynn has a career record of 429-243, highlighted by a state runner-up finish with Holmes in 1990. He coached at Bourbon County two years ago, but he did not coach last season.