New coach has a history of rebuilding programs.
When Luke Floyd wanted some in-depth information on the girls’ basketball head coaching opening at Rolla High School, he turned to family.
And his brother-in-law did “quite a sales job,”
Floyd, who took the Sturgeon High School girls’ basketball team to the Missouri Class 2 State Tournament Quarterfinals in 2012-13, has been hired as Rolla High girls’ basketball head coach.
The Rolla Board of Education approved Floyd’s hire during a special session Friday morning.
According to RHS Athletic Director Cathy Shoup Floyd will be assigned to the high school building, although his teaching duties are not yet finalized.
Floyd, age 36, had been Sturgeon girls’ head coach the past five seasons. Prior to that he was boys’ basketball head coach at Hale High School for eight years.
He replaces Bryce Swafford, who resigned last month, as head of the Rolla High Lady Bulldog program.
When the RHS job came open, Floyd knew who to contact first. His brother-in-law, Ryan Morris, is a Rolla native and a former member of the Rolla Board of Education who was a former athlete at RHS.
So the Morris family knew the Lady Bulldog situation pretty well.
“They could get a job in public relations!” Floyd said of the Morris family. “They did a great job selling Rolla.
“It’s an exciting opportunity. It’s a great school district. When the job came open I was very excited to go there.”
Floyd has had success in turning around rebuilding programs at both Sturgeon and Hale. He’s got another rebuilding job in store for him at RHS.
He takes over a Rolla program coming off its worst-ever campaign, finishing 2-23 in 2013-14 and 10-38 over the past two seasons. The Lady Bulldogs, a central Missouri girls’ basketball powerhouse during the late 1970s through the mid-2000s, has had but one winning record the past seven seasons.
“He came in, went through the interview process and we were really impressed with the success he had at Hale and Sturgeon,” said Rolla High Athletic Director Cathy Shoup. “We felt like he was the person to put in the program to start the rebuilding process.”
And Floyd is hitting the ground running. He plans to meet with Rolla players after school on Tuesday. And at that time he hopes to pass out a summer schedule for them.
“I’m finishing up the schedule this weekend for the summer,” he said. “I’m working with Coach Shoup on times and things and hope to have the schedules ready to hand to them (on Tuesday),” Floyd said.
Shoup said Swafford’s assistants from this past season, Amy Luna and Kaitlin Jones, will return to work for Floyd. Luna is the junior varsity coach and Jones the freshman coach.
Rolla school officials feel the next coach needs to take a more on-hands approach with the team’s youth feeder programs, and Floyd - with three daughters in elementary school - plans to do just that.
“I have three daughters, all in elementary programs,” he said. “ I’ve been involved in youth leagues and hope to continue that. Just to build excitement for the program.
“I think there is a lot of potential there. The last two stops for me have been rebuilding efforts. I like to put my fingerprints on the program.”
Last season Floyd led the Sturgeon Bulldogs to a 18-9 record. In 2012-13 Sturgeon finished 26-3, losing to Marceline 41-37 in the Class 2 Quarterfinals.
After taking over a Sturgeon program with a losing record, Floyd’s five-season run there was 111-27, winning at least 22 games in four of those five campaigns.
Floyd said he preaches defense.
“We’ve always been defensive-based,” he said. “Predominately man-to-man (defense), if we have the personnel.
“Offensively if we can, we like to get out and run. A lot of motion offense; crisp ball movement. We try to get everyone involved and not have one main scorer. We feel it’s a very player-friendly system.”
Floyd’s wife is Chris and their daughters are Emma, age 10; Scarlett, age eight, and Harper, age five.