Story: Lincoln an attractive position

November 11, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

STANFORD - Even though Lincoln County's football team has not been a legitimate factor in the state playoffs since 1995, athletics director Don Story still thinks there will be plenty of interest in the vacant head coaching job at Lincoln.

"I talk to coaches who think that Lincoln County is just waiting to happen, that it is a sleeping giant," said Story Monday. "We have athletes coming. We're going to get the financial support. People here are waiting eagerly for a winning product.

"This is an attractive position. The right coach could be here 10 to 15 years and build a name in the state."

Story will soon find out if he's right about the job being attractive to coaches. Lincoln officials decided Friday not to retain Robbie Lucas, a former Lincoln player who compiled a 4-16 record in his two years as Lincoln's head coach, for the 2004 season. Lucas met with his players and broke the news to them Monday afternoon.


Story became Lincoln's athletics director in July. He knows there is work to be done for the Patriots to attract the type of coach he wants.

Lucas' coaching salary of $6,600 is below that of other area coaches, as well as below that of most successful coaches across the state.

"We are going to do our best to be comparable with the top coaching salaries in the state," Story said. "I'm going to need a lot of help to do that. I do think Lincoln is one of the lower paid positions around. I want us to be comparable to Boyle County, Danville and others in the state that have successful programs. I am trying to do all I can to get a pay raise for all our programs."

Lucas said the budget is also not adequate to provide all the football team needs. Story said he was unaware of any major items the program did without and that between money budgeted by the school, bowl game proceeds and booster club money that there should be more than enough to adequately fund the program.

Lucas isn't so sure.

"Boyle County and Danville are the blueprints for how to support and coach a team," Lucas said. "That's what Lincoln needs to be like."

Committee will search for new coach

Story and high school principal Ty Howard will be part of a five- to seven-person committee that will search for the new coach. Story would prefer a candidate with head coaching experience.

"I might consider an assistant coach that is up-and-coming and has a tremendous future," Story said. "I would like to get the best possible candidate, but hopefully that will be someone with head coaching experience."

Story said assistants Dean Wilkes and Clark Teague, who both teach at the high school, have been assured that they are wanted back for next season.

"We hope they will both stay," Story said.

The athletics director said he would not be surprised if some parents and players attend the next Lincoln Board of Education meeting to voice support for Lucas.

"Robbie is a fine coach. I'm sure he has a lot of support, and should," Story said. "But we just felt this was the right time to go in a different direction."

Story said there is no timetable in place for naming the next coach. He expects five or more candidates to receive interviews.

"We want to do this right," Story said. "We feel like we have a lot to offer a new coach and by making this decision now, we have time to do the search the right way and get the best possible coach."

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