Cheyenne Central hired Tagg Lain as its boys basketball coach on Saturday. You can read about that here. The response in my email and on Twitter to Lain’s hire has been overwhelmingly positive.
Lain has guided the Cheyenne American Legion Post 6 baseball team to 13 Wyoming Class AA championships and three runner-up finishes at the Northwest Regional tournament.
But what people might not know is that he’s also got an extensive basketball coaching background. Lain was an assistant for recently fired Indians coach Doug Moratzka during the 2011-12 season. He also coached sub-varsity squads under Lew Roney (1994-96), Kevin McLeod (1997-99) and Mike Jackson (2005-06).
Here’s what people are saying about the hire.
McLeod joked that that only thing Lain knows about basketball is that it’s bigger than a baseball and then added the following comments:
“The things that have helped him with success in baseball will be the qualities that will help him in basketball as well.
He is very organized, very competitive, motivated, and highly intelligent.
There are three things that he will do that will set him a bit above the rest.
1) Offensively he has a great understanding of spacing and screening angles along with the understanding of why and when things should happen, the timing of it all. A lot of coaches can run an offense but really are just running it not executing it.
2) Tagg has a great feel of defensive schemes and how to get kids in the right places at the right time. He will be very demanding and hold each athlete responsible for their role.
3) He has a knack for getting the most out of each individual kid. Whether that is his best athlete or maybe one that is less skilled he will put them in a position that they can have individual success which will lead to team success. Flexible, he will adapt his schemes to fit the kids.
I think this was a good hire for Central Basketball. Hope him all the luck in the future.”
I texted a friend who is a 1999 Central graduate after Lain was hired. He was excited that Central was turning to a coach who was on the staff when the Indians won their last state title, calling Lain a hard-nosed coach who will bring the best out of his players and have them playing fundamentally sound.
And here’s a sampling of what I got on Twitter. It’s worth noting that I later corrected this tweet. Lain is actually Central’s ninth head coach since Cheyenne became a two-school city in 1961.