Duluth girls basketball coach quits after 2 years

Duluth head girls basketball coach Shane Roughton resigned on Tuesday, ending a two-year stint at his alma mater and leaving the school in search of a new coach just weeks before preseason practices.

School faculty members were told Wednesday morning and Duluth administrators confirmed that Roughton resigned from his positions as basketball coach and as a social studies teacher. Reached by telephone on Wednesday, Roughton declined comment but did say he may look into a return to the education field in the future.

"(Roughton) resigned for personal reasons," Duluth principal Pat Blenke said. "We wish him luck in all his future endeavors."

Roughton, a 1991 Duluth grad, took over a struggling Wildcat girls program and suffered through a winless 2004-2005 season, his first at the helm. But the team showed great progress last season, going 9-18 against a tough Region 7-AAAAA schedule.

Duluth returns four starters - Mykala Walker, Daphne Adebayo, Laurie Thomas and Breona Udofia - from the 2005-2006 team.

What person coaches those players this season remains to be seen. Athletic director Denny Lytle is accepting applications immediately and is hoping to act quickly, with basketball practice starting Oct. 30 and the first games set for Nov. 18.

"The first day of practice is this month so we'd like to get someone in here very soon," Lytle said. "It's a very talented, great group of girls on this team. He or she that comes in will really enjoy coaching them."

Given the timing of Roughton's resignation, it's doubtful Duluth could hire a current head coach at another school, so the search likely will center on proven assistant coaches.

"It might be difficult to get someone in with a lot of head coaching experience," Blenke said, "but we're just looking for the most qualified candidate."