Coach Greg Howard, the new Athletic Director at Logan County High School, gave me a tour of LCHS recently. With school out for the summer, many projects are underway to clean and spruce-up the halls and classrooms in the building. Coach Howard showed me his new office, walls in the process of receiving a new coat of paint.
Then we walked to his old office — the office he kept as Head Coach of the Track and Field and Cross-Country teams – and I asked him about his new job and some of his goals.
My first question was if he had found a new track coach and if whether or not he might pull double-duty for a while. He laughed and said no. “Don’t think that could happen,” he said. “We have some applicants and we are waiting the 30 days—we gotta do that. And once those 30 days is up, we’ll interview and make a decision. The Track and Cross Country (coaching jobs) are open.”
As he continued to speak, I detected a mid-western accent. I asked him where he was originally from. “Oh my gosh, that’s a hard question to answer,” He smiled and joked that when he goes back home folks think he sounds southern. His father was in the Air Force and he was in the Navy, “So I’ve been just about everywhere” he said. Howard moved to Kentucky in 1980 from Nebraska, “Cornhusker country up there.”
The Nebraska comment reminded me to ask about the LCHS Football Program. This is Steve Duncan’s second year as Head Coach, “He’s doing a really good job,” Howard said. “Our biggest thing is recruiting. We got a lot of athletes walking the halls; we’re just not getting them out.”
“Coach Duncan has a good staff.” They are already working hard—hitting the weight room. I think we are going to see an improvement.”
Changing Districts may be help for Cougar football. Instead of playing the juggernauts Bowling Green, Warren East, and etc., the Cougars may find a more equitable schedule with games against opponents like Hopkins County, Central Holloway County, and North Hopkins.
I asked him for a comment regarding the basketball programs. “Coach Mason and Coach Baird are doing a great job. Both teams have been traveling to camps. The Lady Cougars are going to be very talented. The boys’, they lost their height, we’ll wait and see where they are.”
In his career, Howard has coached Track, Cross Country, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer and Tennis. “I’ve dabbled in several sports.” Now, as Athletic Director, one of his new duties will be to oversee the administration of Title 9. “If something goes wrong, they’ll come to me.”
Howard says he loves a challenge—and he says he is up for the challenge. “I want to see us all compete at the state championship level. That’s my goal.”
“More importantly,” he continued, “I want to see us build programs.” He referred to LCHS Baseball Coach Ethan Meguiar: “He’s involved from top to bottom. He has a solid program, not just a baseball team.”
Howard is quick to point out that in a successful program, the credit goes to the kids, “I might drive the ship, but it’s the kids that do all the work and all that.”
We talked a bit about the rivalry between the Cougars and Panthers. The Logan County High student body is approx. three times the size of Russellville High’s. Yet it seems that RHS has a better connection with its middle school. This may not be very difficult for the Panthers, as the two schools share the same plot of land. It’s may be more difficult for the Logan County system.
Often there are rivalries between Middle Schools. Competition is good for the middle school and the students/athletes involved, and it helps to bring out the best. Often, though, as the student makes the transition into High School, those middle school rivalries become an obstacle to (or an extra step toward) success at LCHS.
“I think we have the talent and (our coaches) are doing a good job of developing the talent. We just need to get the talent out,” said Howard.
As I spoke with Coach Howard, it became evident that bridging the gap between the Middle Schools and the High School (often caused primarily by the physical distance between them) is a big facet of his goal as Athletic Director.
AD Howard believes that the return of Middle School Girls’ Soccer is a step in the direction of getting the middle schools to feel part of the larger overall Logan County community. He has plans to get the High School Coaches and Athletes out to the Middle Schools to inform students there. He hopes that students and athletes alike can realize that LCHS is the next step after Middle School in their development as good young men and women. The advantage that Russellville and other schools that have their middle and high schools in close proximity to each other is that the student is there in the same community for a longer time.
“The theme is Cougar Pride,” he said. “It’s all of us — coaches, teachers, and custodians, all of us.” He proudly added, “Once we all buy in, you better look out.”