Cougars name Lane Lord to take over women's basketball program
Barton County Community College named Lane Lord as the coach of the women's basketball program at the school Tuesday afternoon. Lord becomes the 8th coach in the illustrious history of Barton County. Coach Lord comes to Barton County from Wichita Heights High School, where he compiled two state champions the past three seasons. Lord takes over for Don Kayser, who resigned during his 4th season at the school. The Cougars finished this season with a 14-17 record and a 4-year total of 56-70 during Coach Kayser's tenure.
"We're extremely excited about Lane coming on board as our new head women's basketball coach," Barton County Athletic Director Neil Elliott said. "Lane has had tremendous success building the program at Wichita Heights into a power not only in the state of Kansas, but also at the national level.
"We were extremely pleased with both the quality and the quantity of applicants we received for the position. We received applications from both current community college head coaches as well as Division I assistant coaches but the attributes that really set Lane out from the pool of over 80 applicants were his work ethic, his strong desire to coach at the collegiate level and his tremendous in-state as well as out-of-state contacts."
Coach Lord, 33, comes to Barton after spending 9 seasons at the helm of the Wichita Heights Falcons. During that time the Falcons compiled a 141-63 record. During the past four seasons the Falcons have been one of the most dominate teams in Kansas High School basketball. Wichita Heights finished the 2004 season with a 20-2 mark after an upset loss in the 6A Sub State finals to eventual state runner-up Emporia. The previous 2 seasons the Falcons captured the 6A state title after finishing 3rd in 2001. That gave the Falcons a 4-year total of 89-8 with 4 Wichita City League titles to their credit as well as the 2 state championships.
"The opportunity to come to Great Bend is something I am really looking forward to," Coach Lord said. "Neil Elliott really made me feel right at home. To hear him talk with the enthusiasm he does about the college and community, that is where I knew I wanted to be."
Coach Lord took over the Heights program in 1995 at the age of 24 as the 8th coach of its program as well. The program had not had a winning season in the previous 6 years and Coach Lord got them close during each of this 1st 4 seasons, winning 9 or 10 games each of those seasons prior to a 14-8 mark in 1999-00. That was followed by the dominance of the past 4 years that saw records of 24-1, 24-1, 21-4, and 20-1. His 141 wins in the most in Heights history as are his 4 City League titles, 3 State Tourney appearances, and 2 State Titles.
"I have been at Heights High School for 11 years – 9 as the girls' head coach – and you make a lot of friends," Coach Lord said. "It's always hard to leave, but when I took over the program 9 years ago it was down. I feel good that the program with the success we've had is in great shape. I'm ready for the opportunity to move on to the next level. I'm ready to get going in Great Bend."
During his time at Heights, Coach Lord won several Coach of the Year Honors. In 2003 he was named the Kansas Girls Coach of the Year for all classes by the National Federation of High School Coaches, the Kansas Coaches Association, and the Topeka Capital-Journal. He was also selected the 6A Coach of the Year by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association as well as being a Regional and National Finalist for Coach of the Year. In 2002 he earned the Wichita Eagle Coach of the Year, the Wichita Area Sports Commission Girls Coach of the Year, KBCA 6A Coach of the Year, and in 2001 he was named the Wichita City League Coach of the Year.
At Barton County, Coach Lord will be trying to bring the Cougars back to prominence in the Jayhawk Conference and Region VI. Since the school started women's basketball in 1977, Barton has won 15 Jayhawk West titles, 8 Region VI Championships, and earned 5 Top 10 efforts at the NJCAA National Tournament.
"Barton has a fabulous tradition," Coach Lord said. "They have been to the National Tournament and that is where we want to get the program back to. Coach Kayser was a good friend of mine and I feel he did a good job there. I am excited to try and take them back to that level with an up-tempo brand of basketball and that will put people in the seats and win games."
Elliott said his quick-paced offense and recruiting ties were some of the main reasons he was chosen to guide the Cougars team.
"We really feel as though Lane will upgrade the talent level in our program and that his teams will play a very aggressive, up-tempo style that our fans will truly enjoy coming out to watch," Elliott said. "All in all we feel very strongly that Lane is the right coach to guide our program back to the success that it has had in the past."
That means one of Coach Lords first duties will be recruiting players, then he will look toward filling his staff in a couple of weeks. He will be at Barton next week to meet some players and get things in place. Coach Lord will be on campus full time starting April 1. His hiring is pending approval of the Board of Trustees at the college.
"Recruiting started (Monday) night. I made about 35 phone calls," Coach Lord said. "We are going to have some solid kids coming back but we need to find some quality in-state recruits and get after it."
Lord was reared in Waco, Texas then attended college at Tabor College. While at Tabor, he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball, receiving All-Conference honors in both football and baseball. After graduating from Tabor, Lord took a job as an assistant coach for the boys team at Wichita Heights for two years before becoming the head girls' coach at the school. He also helped coached football and baseball. He is married to Stacy (Shobe) Lord, who was a 2-time softball All-American at Friends University. She also played basketball and soccer at the school. The couple has a 4-year old daughter, Logan.
Head Women's Basketball Coach – Barton County
Head Girls' Basketball Coach – Wichita Heights High School
2003-04 – 20-2; City League Champs; Sub State runner-up
2002-03 – 21-4; 6A State Champs; City League Champs
2001-02 – 24-1; 6A State Champs; City League Champs
2000-01 – 24-1; 3rd place at 6A Tournament; City League Champs
1999-00 – 14-8; Sub State runner-up
1998-99 – 9-12
1997-98 – 10-12; Sub State runner-up
1996-97 – 9-11
1995-96 – 10-11