Players, staff react to coach’s resignation
Moffat County junior Zach Haddan heard about a basketball meeting Wednesday night and assumed what most of his teammates did.
“I just thought we were going to talk about the summer,” he said.
But when they sat down, coach Mike LeWarne told his players he had turned in his letter of resignation.
“I think everyone was surprised,” Haddan said. “He always told us he loved the game so much. I never thought he’d quit.”
Junior Derek Duran had similar thoughts.
“I was shocked,” he said. “He always talked about how much he loved it.”
LeWarne’s decision to leave came after a 9-13 season, his first losing season as a head coach in three years.
Duran and Haddan are in a junior class that has been a part of LeWarne’s “Dogball” program during its entirety.
“With it being our senior year it’s disappointing,” Haddan said. “We knew the system the best and we had one more year for it.”
“It was just three years,” Duran said. “It would have been nice for him to stick it out but you have to respect his decision.”
Moffat County Athletics Dir–ector Jim Loughran knew that LeWarne was struggling with a lack of time at home, but didn’t think it would lead to a resignation.
“It’s too bad because he’s got such a big heart and cares a lot about the kids,” Loughran said.
LeWarne was one of the first coaches Loughran hired as A.D.
Moffat County girls coach Craig Mortensen watched LeWarne grow as a coach in his program. LeWarne, a 1992 graduate of MCHS, coached either freshman or junior varsity basketball under Mortensen for seven years.
“He came in and did everything he could to build our program,” Mortensen said. “I would have liked to see him continue, but he did the right thing for himself.”
Life will go on for the Bulldog basketball team.
“We will still be in the gym this summer because we don’t want a repeat of last year,” Duran said. “We’re go–ing to be tough next year regardless.”
Haddan hoped a new coach would be named soon.
“I hope we get a new coach soon so we don’t miss out on summer ball,” he said.
LeWarne finished with a 38-28 record, and he said that he still plans to be at as many games as he can next year.
From the sound of things, he’s more than welcome.
“I can understand his decision,” Haddan said.
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