High School Basketball

Lafayette High School names new boys' basketball coach

Lafayette didn't have to look far to find its new boys' basketball coach.

Mike Mendenhall III, who teaches at Lafayette and has been an assistant at neighboring Lexington Catholic the last five years, was introduced as the Generals' coach Thursday afternoon.

Mendenhall, 32, said Lexington Catholic Coach Brandon Salsman "always tried to encourage me, help me and prepare me for this moment.

"I'm ready, and I'm excited about the possibilities and growth this program can experience."

Mendenhall replaces Greg Coldiron, who cited health issues and abruptly resigned during the district tournament after two years as the Generals' head coach.

Salsman said Mendenhall "has learned everything he could possibly learn. He's been ready for this for quite a while. I think he'll be great.

"It'll be bittersweet going against him, but I'll have a strong sense of pride whenever I'm on the floor with him."

Mendenhall said he looks forward to the challenge of facing his former school.

"You want your players to compete against the best, and I think that's what Lexington Catholic symbolizes."

Mendenhall played point guard for Danny Haney at Lexington Catholic in the mid-1990s and was on the '96 team that reached the Sweet Sixteen.

He was a Knights assistant under Haney from 2000-02 and was part of their state title team in '02.

Mendenhall joined Damon Kelley's staff at Lafayette in 2003 and stayed three seasons before returning to Lexington Catholic.

Mendenhall said the Generals will employ Lexington Catholic's trademark style: "Attack, attack, attack. That's all I know; that's all we'll do."

Mendenhall got the coaching bug from his father, Mike, a longtime assistant at Lexington Catholic.

"I've been very blessed to grow up as a coach's son and understand the impact coaches have on a kid's life by seeing my father do it."

Mendenhall's grandfather, Mike, was a teammate of Oscar Robertston at the University of Cincinnati.