Jim Loughran prepares for practice Tuesday afternoon in the equipment room of the Moffat County High School gym. Loughran, the new boys freshmen basketball coach, worked at the school for more than 20 years as a teacher, athletic director and coach before retiring in 2006.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Jim Loughran prepares for practice Tuesday afternoon in the equipment room of the Moffat County High School gym. Loughran, the new boys freshmen basketball coach, worked at the school for more than 20 years as a teacher, athletic director and coach before retiring in 2006.

Former MCHS coach, AD to lead freshmen hoops team

Jim Loughran is back in a place where he’s spent a good portion of his life: the Moffat County High School gym.

And, he’s rejoining a sport that’s been part of his life for more than 30 years.

“I’ve never really been away from it,” he said.

Loughran is the new coach for the freshmen boys basketball team, a familiar position for the former MCHS mainstay, though in a different capacity.

“It’s kind of on a low-key level,” he said. “Coaching freshmen is a little different than being responsible for a program. My job is basically to get the kids fundamentally ready to play (junior varsity) and varsity.”

Loughran coached boys and girls hoops for 22 years during his tenure at the school from 1979 to 2006, overseeing two of his own children, Sean and Amy, in the Bulldog basketball program. He also took the girls team to the state tournament in 1992 and 1993.

Teaching reading and social studies at the school through 2001, he was also the athletic director for his last five years at MCHS, working as the girls soccer coach for two seasons before bowing out of athletics.

Loughran said he’s enjoying his return to the school as a coach.

“Being back and working with kids again is something I wanted to do before I completely retire,” he said.

Since leaving MCHS, Loughran has worked with the Colorado High School Activities Association in observing and seeding high school basketball teams for tournament play.

He also works as a salesman for Daktronics, a company based out of Brookings, S.D., which distributes scoreboards to all levels of athletic venues.

“We’re in 29 of 32 pro baseball teams. If you go watch the Rockies, that big video board and everything around it is by Daktronics,” he said.

The scoreboard hanging in the MCHS gym is one provided by Daktronics as well. Loughran got it for the school before retiring as athletic director.

His current job mostly entails traveling around to schools in Colorado and Wyoming. He said it has been relatively easy to balance his work with his coaching responsibilities.

“I manage to get all my traveling out of the way, and I work during the day, so it’s not a problem,” he said.

During most practices, Loughran’s team is on the opposite end of the gym from head coach David Bradshaw and junior varsity coach John Haddan.

“They’re both good coaches,” Loughran said. “They kind of let me be on my own, and so I don’t get a chance to see what they do.”

Loughran said he has run his team through a little bit of everything.

“I think the main thing they lack are the fundamentals, and that’s their weakness,” he said.

Loughran said he is still adjusting to basketball players who are new to the sport at the high school level.

“I think one of my difficulties is that I expect too much, and I’ve got to be a little more patient,” he said. “They find that I’m a little bit old school, and I don’t tolerate people not paying attention.

“When you’re trying to teach something new, it can be pretty difficult for them to pick it up. A couple of them haven’t ever played any competitive basketball.”

He also is used to a different roster format. Though the team is officially named “freshmen,” it’s a C-team that allows sophomores to qualify, as well.

“We used to do it strictly freshmen, JV, varsity, but now it’s C-team, JV, varsity. It’s a little bit different concept,” he said. “What it does is it allows kids to get an extra year of development and give them a chance to get experience playing the game.”

The freshmen boys and girls teams will play Rifle on Thursday at MCHS, with the girls at 5 p.m. and the boys at 6:30 p.m.

“I think each game is going to be interesting,” he said. “My goal is to have them pretty fundamental by the end of the season, and where they go from there is up to them.”

Comments

jeff corriveau 3 years, 4 months ago

Nightmares never go away! I thought Loughran had run his course at our schools but I guess not. He was a TERRIBLE coach before and always will be. And an even worse mentor for our kids. Here is a perfect example of why our sports programs have not been, and will not be, successful. How low do you have to go to find someone to coach? I guess we know the answer

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straighttaker 3 years, 4 months ago

It doesn't suprise me that Loughran is back as a coach. As the originator of the "bad boys basketball program," it only stands for reason that he's back to safeguard it's perpetuation.

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ryandur10 3 years, 4 months ago

Okay….I respect everyones point of view and you are entitled to you option. But please step forward and quite using the Anonymous tag as a mask. Last time I checked you not very many people applyed for the job. Laughran took teams to the state tournament, and at one point seconds away from a state championship game. I'm not sure how you are measuring success. In this day in age it is a lot easier to talk rather than do. If you have such a issue with the way Moffat County Sports are going I encourage you to get involved. This community is always looking for youth coaches and officals, step out of your comfort zone and help out. To all the readers, lets use this forum for the right reasons and please drop the anonymous tag! Ryan Duran

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straighttaker 3 years, 4 months ago

To Ryan - Jim Loughran was instrumental in making sure your brother and his sons played ahead of other players just as and more talented. Of course you'll stand behind him.

Maybe the A.D. up at the high school should look for a coach rather then give it to whomever applies. I'm impressed with your dedication to the bad program.

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ryandur10 3 years, 4 months ago

Lets not get personal, by the way my brother never played for Jim Laughran. Jim was gone before my brother got to high school, get your facts straight. Did you apply for the job straighttaker? I dont think they had many applicats. I do have a dedication for High school sports, but the only way to change a bad program is is to get involved.
Ryan

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jeff corriveau 3 years, 4 months ago

Ryan: Well said young man! So we can expect to see you, alongside Loughran, turning around a bad program????

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obamablows 3 years, 4 months ago

I just wanted to say it sounds like straighttaker may have been a player that got passed over or a parent who's kid got passed over "always the best but never get to play" I just wanted to say that I had the same feelings about Jim myself and believe me we had our battles when he was AD but when my oldest daughter was a JR in 05 and no girls soccer coach was found jim stepped in and coached those girls she will tell you that was the best year of high school soccer she had jim was firm but fair and played the girls on ability and though it was a loosing season they had FUN !! I gained alot of respect for jim that year and think he will make a good freshman coach if you can keep the winey parents out of it I had to deal with that in girls b-ball for 4 yrs because my other daughter played varsity as a freshmen but that's a whole diffrent story and ryan if your the duran im thinking you are your brother deserved to play he worked his butt off and was an outstanding athlete

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justthefacts 3 years, 4 months ago

Fact: Craig should be nominated as the greenest city in America.

Fact: In Craig we recycle not only cardboard, but coaches, teachers, School administrators, and now Doctors!!!!

Fact: Just like in recycling, the end product is about the same as it was prior to the recycling effort.( Sometimes not as good??)

Just The recycled Facts

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