Lord resigns post as women's hoops coach to take job at Pittsburg State
The Lane Lord era at Barton County Community College was short but very successful. Coach Lord resigned his position as the head coach of the Barton women's basketball team to take the same spot at Pittsburg State University. Lord coached at Barton for 3 season, making 2 trips the Region VI finals and posting a 78-21 overall mark. This past season, Coach Lord guided the Cougars to a 27-3 mark, but Barton was ineligible for post season play due to a department-wide probation at Barton.
"Leaving a great team is a very tough decision," Coach Lord said. "But it is a career move for me. I am very excited to compete in the best Division II conference (MIAA) in the entire country. Professionally, it is another challenge for me at a new level.
"Probably the hardest thing is leaving the kids," Coach Lord said. "You recruit those kids to compete for you for 2 years. We have a great group of freshmen and it is a tough time for everyone. But it is never easy to leave. At this time of the year you look on TV and you see coaches moving everywhere. The people that get lost in that are the kids."
Lord arrived at Barton after a successful high school career at Wichita Heights 3 years ago as the Cougars were coming off a 3 consecutive losing seasons for the 1st time in school history. In fact Barton had only 2 losing season the previous 29 years before the 3 straight. He immediately turned that around with a 22-12 record and a spot in the Region VI championship game his 1st season in town. That was followed by a 28-6 record which included a 17-game winning streak his 2nd season and another trip to the Region VI finals. This past season was the 3rd most successful in terms of winning percentage in Barton history for the Cougars with their 27-3 mark.
"The uncertainty of being a college coach 3 years ago was there when I arrived at Barton," Coach Lord said. "Now, thanks to Barton, I have the confidence I can coach at the college level after 3 successful seasons.
"I think one of the most important things for me is to leave the program in great shape, which I felt like I have done," Coach Lord said. "In 3 years we have gotten it back to the national level and our kids have moved on every year to play basketball at the Division I or II level. That is one of the most rewarding parts."
Barton athletic director Kurt Kohler noted the success of Coach Lord and his ability to turn the program back into a national contender.
"Lane is an incredible coach and has had much success in his 3 years at Barton," Kohler said. "He was able to come into Barton during a time of struggle, and turned the women's basketball program into one of the top programs in the nation. His players have been excellent students and athletes, which is a direct reflection on the expectations Lane demands from his teams."
During Coach Lord's time at Barton, the athletic department went through some turmoil, including the NJCAA placing the entire athletic department on probation for work-study scandals in men's basketball and track and field. That is why this year's team and its 27-3 overall record and 15-1 Jayhawk West record was not able to compete in the post season.
"It is also tough to leave after all the adversity the athletic department has had to go through," Coach Lord said. "The people in the athletic department have had to battle tough times here. The people like Mike Warren and Kurt Kohler have been tremendous in helping ease those tough times. Up and down the list with the coaches, it is a great bunch and makes it tough to leave those guys."
Lord was introduced today as the new coach at Pittsburg State during a press conference at 1 pm.
"He will be missed within the athletic department, institution, and community for all he is and has done," Kohler said. "Lane is a class act and deserves the opportunity he received at Pittsburg State University. We wish him the best."
"Barton and Great Bend have been a great place for me and my family the past 3 years," Coach Lord said. "It is going to be a tough community for us to leave. My wife Stacey, my daughter Logan, and myself have made some life-long friends here and leaving them is going to be very difficult."
The Cougars are expected to name a replacement for Coach Lord sometime next week.