Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

June 12, 2014

Lawrence turns to alum York as new coach

LOUISA — Travis York is walking into a special situation, basketball-wise, at Lawrence County.

And, consequently, the Bulldogs' new coach knows his new team shoulders great hopes for the coming winter as one of the top clubs in the 15th Region.

“It’s some of the highest expectations, I think, Lawrence County’s had going into a summer,” York said. “I think the expectations are maybe as high as they’ve ever been, and it’s because it is a good group of young men, and there’s a lot of potential there to achieve some great things, and that’s why we’re wanting to work as hard as we can to achieve those goals, and maybe make some history for Lawrence County.”

York, a 1999 Lawrence County alumnus, will take over on the Bulldogs sideline, athletic director Travis Feltner confirmed Wednesday.

He inherits a team that went 21-11 last season, had zero seniors and started four sophomores and a freshman — all of whom had started the year prior and averaged in double figures in scoring.

Four Lawrence County starters — Austin Chaffin, Robert Dalton, Timmy Dalton and Brandon Richardson — again averaged in double figures last season, led by Timmy Dalton’s 15.0 points a night.

The Bulldogs put up 66.9 points per game, took eventual region champion Johnson Central to overtime before losing 74-72 in the 57th District Tournament final, and returned to the region tournament for the first time in four years.

“It’s not often that a coach gets to walk into a situation where you’ve got a young team that’s got experience and is very talented,” York said. “That’s a rare combination that a new coach gets to walk into.”

The coach expects Lawrence County to continue putting up points in bunches.

“We’re not very big, so it’s pretty obvious ... most teams will realize what we would probably do. We’re gonna get up and down,” York said. “And that’s the style that I’ve been accustomed to. I have strong beliefs about that with basketball, it should be up and down and played at a very fast pace, and so we plan on pushing the ball and pushing the pace and trying to force the pace to be as fast as we can get it.”

This is York’s second head coaching job. He piloted Miami University-Hamilton last season.

He coached Lawrence County in summer camp scrimmages at Raceland on Wednesday and said he expects the transition back to high school coaching to be simple enough.

“Well, I’ll tell you one thing,” York said with a laugh, “(Wednesday) there were a couple times we had some really good defensive possessions, and I started looking up for the shot clock and thinking, ‘Is the shot clock gonna go off here?’ and then it was like, ‘Wait, that’s right, I don’t have that helping me out.’

“I don’t see there being a ton of differences (between coaching college and high school), and this is a pretty mature group that I’ve got.”

York replaces Josh Cook, who left for Mercer County in April. Cook presided over the Bulldogs’ turnaround from going 7-46 in the two years before his arrival to 41-22 in his two seasons.

York, 33, expects to have a position in the school, although that hadn’t been finalized as of Wednesday night. He was an assistant for three years at Miami-Hamilton before becoming the Harriers’ head coach. He attended Lee University, graduating in 2003.

He is also excited about returning to Louisa.

“It’s been a goal of mine to get back to Lawrence County, and this coaching opportunity allowed that to happen, getting back home with my family and friends,” York said. “It’s really nice to get back and be able to spend time with them and be part of the community again and the school district, and just looking forward to helping out and being an asset for the Lawrence County school district in any way I possibly can.”

ZACK KLEMME can be reached at zklemme@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.

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