Archive for Friday, June 19, 2009

Lions turn over boys job to Lewis

LHS promotes hoops assistant

June 19, 2009


Completing their second head-coaching search in the past month, Lawrence High officials confirmed Thursday that they will recommend Mike Lewis to become the school’s new boys basketball coach.

Lewis, whose connections to LHS run deep, was an assistant coach to former Lions coach Chris Davis the past three seasons.

The new head Lion was informed of the school’s decision Wednesday. LHS interviewed two others for the position, but ultimately chose Lewis because “he was a good fit,” LHS principal Matt Brungardt said.

“You don’t imagine that you’ll have to hire two new coaches between the time they name you interim principal and the time you start working for the next school year,” Brungardt said. “But, like I said before, all you can do is play the cards you’re dealt. I think we got two outstanding coaches, and I think both (new head girls coach) Nick (Wood) and Mike (Lewis) will do a great job. I think this thing worked out great for everybody involved.”

Perhaps none more so than Lewis, who faced tough decisions about his future as recently as the team banquet May 17. At that time, Lewis, as well as the rest of the LHS basketball family, believed Davis was coming back for another season. Two weeks later, that all changed.

“When I got word that coach Davis had decided to retire, I was definitely caught off guard. I didn’t know what to think,” Lewis said.

Luckily for Lewis, there was little time to spend pondering a move. After digesting the news and weighing his thoughts about the commitment required to take over a varsity basketball program, he contacted LHS and expressed interest in applying for the job.

“It was a no-brainer,” Lewis said.

From there, things moved quickly. Brungardt said the school received 15 applications for the position. At that point, LHS assembled a search committee — made up of administrators, parents and student-athletes — and interviewed three finalists for the position.

Perry-Lecompton head coach Jeff Dickson and longtime Emporia High coach Rick Bloomquist also received interviews.

But in the end, it was Lewis’s connection to the program and community that allowed him to stand above the others. In addition to his three years of basketball experience, Lewis, 34, has coached girls golf at LHS for nine seasons.

Lewis will continue to coach girls golf in the fall but will have his attention turned squarely to hoops in the winter.

“The excitement in me to coach basketball and to do it at the 6A level and at Lawrence High is tremendous,” Lewis said. “This is an unbelievable opportunity.”

Lewis, whose family includes wife, Kristel, and sons Macade, 4, and Luke, 3, officially will be introduced as the school’s next coach at a 3 p.m. news conference Monday at LHS.


TheDefinition 8 years, 11 months ago

Having known Coach Lewis for 8+ years, he is definitely the man for the job. He definitely knows how to coach a team. Congrats on the J-O-B Coach. I look for Lawrence to have a championship within the next 3 years.

KURocks 8 years, 11 months ago

I think coach lewis is a good choice, but this is hilarious. Recently i recall reading an article by one of the LJW reporters indicating this job would require a national search given the close proximity to KU. So the national search was a guy from perry Lecompton and Emporia. LMFAO, you guys are a bunch of morons.

bizzybee 8 years, 11 months ago

It was the timing of Coach Davis' retirement that influenced the candidates available for this job.

Had Davis stepped down in March, LHS would've had 50 applicants (from multiple states) and been able to pick from a much bigger and more experienced list.

The fact that summer drills are already underway and many coaches are concerned about the lack of job openings in the Lawrence District played a huge role in this process.

Lewis seems like a great guy and, with his ties and familiarity with the program, he should do a terrific job.

If the timing were different, the folks at LHS would have seen some much bigger names going after that job. Lewis may still have gotten it, but it would've been a much different story.

Congrats, Coach!!!

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