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Longino tabbed as Spring Hill's head basketball coach

By Hayden Henry
July 1, 2013 at 11 p.m.

When Spring Hill athletic director Mark Sartain was looking for a new boys basketball coach, he knew he would field applicants with the basketball experience needed to take over the program.

But what he saw and heard about Luke Longino made the decision a little easier.

"Of the guys that applied, Luke's references were outstanding, just glowed," Sartain said. "My first priority in any hire that I make is what kind of person they are and Luke is certainly the type of young man that I want our athletes exposed to."

"He's going to model some qualities through coaching that are far more important than any basketball ability he will teach them. That's always been my first priority and he certainly fits that."

The Lufkin native was offered and accepted the position this past week before it was made official Monday by Spring Hill superintendent Wes Jones. Former head coach Hunter Taylor resigned in June to take a graduate assistant position at Baylor after leading the Panthers to consecutive postseason berths in two seasons as head coach.

"It's a great honor, you hear a lot of good things about Spring Hill around East Texas, everyone you talk to has good things to say about everyone they come into contact with at Spring Hill-good people, good kids and hard workers," Longino said. "I'm excited to be here and I'm excited to bring my family here."

Longino attended and was a student assistant at MaryHardin Baylor before taking a assistant job at Central High School. Most recently, Longino served at the junior varsity coach and assistant at Hallsville.

Despite Spring Hill being Longino's first year at the helm of a program, Sartain said it was experience that he was excited to give.

"Again, all his references went on about the qualities he possesses and the potential he has as a head coach, everyone echoed the same sentiment that the only thing he doesn't have is experience," Sartain said. "Everyone was excited about him getting his first opportunity as a head coach."

"I'm excited to be the guy to give him his first opportunity, I remember what it felt like when I got my first one and I remember how hard you fight, struggle and work."

Longino said he built on his experience so far and bring it to a Spring Hill program that has seen playoff action the past two seasons.

"I think there's a big opportunity to be successful here when you have the support system of good parents, good coaches, good athletic director, good facilities and good administration," Longino said. "When you're set up for success like that, it's really up to you to execute and I'm going to do what I've learned about the years from the great coaches I've worked up and implement the system I've developed over the years and I think we can be successful here."

Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h



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