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Robey resigns as Irish boys basketball coach; Starkey to take o

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- For the second time in three seasons, Notre Dame will be searching for a boys basketball coach.

Second-year head coach Mike Robey officially resigned from the post Friday, saying he was pursuing another job option outside of basketball. Notre Dame principal Dr. Carroll Morrison said the school's athletic director, Mark Starkey, would take over as head coach this season, and Sam Alvaro would assume the assistant duties.

"It was a difficult decision, but there's an opportunity to better my family's situation," Robey said.

"My biggest fear is that we would be halfway into the season and I would have to make this decision. I didn't want to leave them without a head coach."

For the present, Robey will continue to teach physical education at Washington Irving Middle School.

Robey said he talked to his team Tuesday night and then talked with Starkey Wednesday.

"The kids understood. They were a little disappointed, but so am I," Robey said. "I still don't know if I'm doing the right thing, but like I said, I didn't want this to come up in the middle of the season."

Starkey, who served as an assistant basketball coach for 14 years and is the school's current baseball coach, takes over a team which finished 12-7 last season before falling to Valley Wetzel in the sectional final.

"I'm still going to be checking in on them and rooting for them," Robey said. "These kids have a legitimate shot at going to Charleston (state basketball tournament). I think they've got the premier point guard in the area in Timmy Swiger and one of the best big men in Jake (Lockett). I wish them a lot of luck.

"I'd like to thank the parents and the players who've been there for my two seasons."

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

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