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Lewis in search of new coach

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

WESTON -- The search officially began last week for a new head coach for the Lewis County Minutemen basketball team. Former coach Harold Bailey, stepped down June 18, and the job was posted early last week and will continue until July 27.

Bailey, who is also an attorney practicing in Weston,

served as head coach from 1998-2001 compiling a 6-61 record. Lewis County joined the Big 10 Conference this season, finishing 2-20 with a 1-13 league mark.

"I knew (Bailey) was weighing all of his options and deciding what was best for himself and the school," Lewis County principal Richard Messenger said. "He felt he hadn't accomplished all of the goals he wanted to, and the program hadn't gone the way he wanted it to go."

The Minutemen haven't had a winning season since 1985 when the team went 16-8 and advanced to the state tournament. Since then, the Class AAA school has been mired in 16 consecutive losing season's going just 86-264 (.246). The school opened in 1966 and has an overall mark of 278-504.

Messenger said he's not sure how many applicants the Lewis County Board of Education has received or who has inquired about the job, but does hope to have a coach in place when the board meets for its Aug. 6 meeting.

"We just want the most qualified person for that position that we can get," Messenger said. "You're never real sure who's out there. If you can find a young coach at the right time who's willing to come in and take on a challenge then that's always an option, but for now, I really don't know a whole lot about who's interested in it. Mainly we just want someone who can improve the program."

Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at sports@exponent-telegram.com.

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