By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (July 13, 2015) — Lingleville wasted no time finding a new head boys basketball coach.
One with a familiar last name around Cardinal land.
Zane Morris, the younger brother of former Lingleville boys head coach Jance Morris, was offered and accepted the position on Friday, making him the lone finalist awaiting formal school board approval.
“We knew we needed to move quickly on this because at this time of the year a lot of good coaching candidates are already sewn up under contract,” explained Lingleville superintendent Curt Haley. “What you have to hope for is a quality young person who can bring a lot of positive energy to the boys, and Zane has that.”
In his final season in 2011-12, Jance Morris led Lingleville to its first regional tournament appearance since 1985. Kade Eckert coached the Cardinals the last three years, guiding them to their second and third consecutive regional trips and winning a fourth straight area title this spring. Eckert, who was 75-21 at Lingleville, resigned last Wednesday to return to his hometown as head girls coach at 2A Harper, roughly 80 miles west of San Antonio.
And unlike Jance when he started at Lingleville, Zane, 24 and also a Tarleton State University graduate, already has a year of coaching experience at Eula, near Abilene.
“He’s already got some of that first year stuff out of the way and comes in here with an idea what he wants and can expect from the kids and a year of experience balancing the responsibilities of teaching with those of coaching,” said Haley. “In talking with him, it just seemed to me that he is the best guy to come in and provide leadership for that program and our young men.”
With head football coach Troy Sparks also new to Lingleville, Haley said he will assume the role of athletic director himself. Eckert held that title the last two years.
“I think with two coaches in their first year here with us, it is best if I assume the extra responsibilities of the athletic director for this next year,” Haley said.
Zane Morris, who will also teach history at LHS, spoke with The Flash Today Monday morning.
“I’m just excited and ready to get to work. I know I have big shoes to fill. The program has been successful in recent years, and I have plans to continue that success and keep it rolling,” Zane Morris said. “I’m very thankful for the opportunity and ready to get down there and meet the boys and start working toward another successful season of Lingleville basketball.”