Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lane Hired as New Boys Basketball Coach at North

The Nashua North boys basketball team will be returning its top 8 players off last year's playoff team. One person from that team who is not returning is head coach Andy Otocka, who resigned at the end of the season.

"We had a large pool of candidates apply for the position" Nashua Athletic Director Tom Arria told the NH Notebook on Thursday afternoon. "We have hired Steve Lane as the new basketball coach, and feel confident he will have the team headed in the right direction."

Lane played college basketball at the University of Rhode Island and Umass-Lowell, and has coached varsity basketball at Reading High School in Mass.

"I had some very good coaches during my playing days" said Coach Lane. "I played at URI for 2 years under Tom Penders, and the other 2 years I played for Stan Van Gundy at Lowell."

Lane coached the Reading High varsity basketball team in the 1990's. But took the last 12 years off from coaching to focus on his kids and family.

Nashua North went 7-11 last season before losing to Salem in the preliminary round of the tournament. It was a little bit of a disappointing season, and things may have turned out differently but the team had some off-court distractions with key players getting suspended.

"We believe that Coach Lane will prepare them as players, but more importantly he'll prepare them as people" said Arria. "He is not only a coach but an educator as well."

Lane is currently a physical education and health teacher at Elm Street Middle School in Nashua. He has an extensive background as a player, a coach and as a teacher.

He also steps into a situation where he'll have a chance to win a lot of games right away. The Titans return their top 8 players off last year's team, including Ryan Gauthier, Javon Williams and Anthony Farmer, who are all potential all-state players this season. Forwards Mike O'Connor and Jake Mellin are also returning starters, and guards Liam Burke, Adam Fay and Parker Jamerson all played vital roles on last year's squad. All 8 of those players will be seniors this season. And then you also have 5'6" guard Dezron Wilson, who played JV last year but is a much improved player as well. With the right coach this is a team that has the talent to win a title in the 2011-2012 season.

"We narrowed the search down to 4 candidates" said Arria. "They were all very worthy candidates, but Steve was the best one."

If they can all stay on the court and if they play together as a unit North will be a scary team for anyone to play. And Coach Lane hasn't wasted any time getting started. He has already met the players and started to coach them during summer league play.

"We're going to run a lot, and be a fast, exciting team to watch" Lane told the NH Notebook at the BST Summer League's tip-off night. "I'm really excited to get started."

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