High School Basketball

Former Division I assistant takes over eastern Kentucky high school hoops program

Robert Amis will be coaching a little closer to a city where he honed his leadership skills beginning next season.

Amis, who spent two years as a graduate assistant at Marshall University in Huntington, W.V., was named the new boys’ basketball coach at Greenup County High School on Friday.

It’s Amis’ third stop in state; he was at Breathitt County for two seasons before a one-year stint at Eminence, a small school in Henry County. He was an assistant at several successful junior colleges before finishing his education at Marshall. Amis played in two Sweet Sixteen tournaments at Perry County Central and was an all-state selection as a senior.

Breathitt County was 38-29 in his time there, which included an appearance in the 14th Region semifinals (the Bobcats lost to eventual region champ Buckhorn). Eminence won 15 games last season, its most since 2013.

Amis sees Greenup County, which had exactly 800 students enrolled this school year, as a sleeping giant in the 16th Region . The Musketeers have played in five Sweet Sixteen tournaments but haven’t made the big dance since 1997. A much-ballyhooed aluminum plant set for construction in the area promises to be a boost to the local economy and, presumably, to the school populations near it.

Greenup County is located in Lloyd, which is about 35 minutes from Huntington. Amis’ familiarity with the area made Greenup an attractive destination.

“This program has a ton of potential to grow,” Amis said. “What’s most important is they’ve got an administration that supports athletics 100 percent and wants to hang banners that say ‘Sweet Sixteen’ on ’em.

“And it’s kind of like a homecoming. I learned a lot at Marshall and look forward to being back in the tri-state area. It’ll be great to return to eastern Kentucky, too. It’s not the mountains I grew up in, but they’ve got the same blue-collar mentality that you need to be successful up there.”

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps