After three years of leading the South Tama County boys' basketball team, Lonnie Hammond has stepped down from the bench.
Hammond announced his resignation during the spring, after his Trojans finished the 2012-13 season with a 6-16 record. This year followed a 1-21 season the year before. The STC boys' program hasn't had a winning season since the 1990s.
"There are a lot of reasons," Hammond said of his resignation. "The big thing was that I felt that while the program had grown in the three years I had it, that maybe it got to the point that for it to grow more, it was time for someone else to take it. It was a hard decision, because I've been on the bench for 30 years. I'm pretty comfortable with my decision. I think it will work out well for the kids."
"A long time ago, a friend of mine, who having done this for 30 years, said he knew there would come a time he would be done," Hammond said. "He said he just hoped he was wise enough to figure that out. Maybe there's a little bit of that, too."
This year's South Tama team began the season winning four of its first six games, before struggling down the stretch and losing its final eight games. STC lost seven players to graduation and several of those players started almost every game.
"To see where we have come from when I started, it's been rewarding," Hammond said. "The wins in the three years weren't maybe what some people wanted. But I can tell you that from talking to other coaches, we are far better off than we were three years ago.
"I think there are some things that still need to be done," he said. "We need to put more time in during the summer. Maybe a younger coach or different coach will be able to accomplish those things."