Monday, March 18, 2013
This past basketball season, there were few teams better in transition than the young, athletic Laney Wildcats. Little did they know, they'd need the skill off the court too.
Laney Head Coach Jerry Hunter is stepping down after three seasons, three Final Four appearances and the 2012 state championship.
Why, you ask?
Hunter is the school's baseball coach too, and the clashing seasons became too much. With two sons stepping on the diamond for the 'Cats next year, he decided the basketball team would be fine without him, while his sons needed their dad.
"It got to the point where I knew I had to choose," Hunter said. "I was all in. For basketball, we start our conditioning program in August, and for baseball we start in October, and I couldn't do both. So, it got to the point where I had to choose, and a non-traditional sport is what I chose and that's baseball because that's what my sons do."
So who is the man charged with following Hunter's successful act?
That would be now-former Assistant Coach Buck Harris.
He's been with Laney for the past three years and was an assistant at Augusta State for nine more. In fact, he's a born and raised Augustan, graduating from Westside.
Needless to say, he knows the Laney faithful expect nothing but success and that's what he plans to bring.
He said, "I know that the community here, they want to win and they expect to win so I'm welcoming everything that's going to happen here. Nothing's going to change. I expect to win here as well. We're not going to differ from what we've been doing. We're going to play hard always, but we're going to make it exciting down here."
The Jerry Hunter era at Laney wraps up with a 77-15 record. That's an 84% success rate.
The Wildcats return all but two players next year.