Lanier hires Duluth's Huckaby

Gwinnett's newest high school has filled its most prominent remaining void Tuesday when Lanier announced the hire of Duluth's Jeremy Huckaby as its first head girls basketball coach.

Huckaby, who led Duluth to new heights over the past four seasons, will join a basketball staff that includes North Gwinnett's Tony Watkins as head boys coach. Lanier will open in August, drawing its students from the North district.

"Just to be able to start a program from scratch will be nice," Huckaby said. "To be able to set the tone, the work ethic. I think Tony said it, you get to design the uniforms, the logo on the court. You're setting the foundation for everything for what hopefully is a successful program."

Huckaby led Duluth's program to rare success, breaking a 32-year state-tournament drought with his 2007-08 team that made the Class AAAAA Final Four. The Wildcats then made the quarterfinals the following season.

The 35-year-old had a 73-38 in four seasons at Duluth after moving over from Grayson, where he coached from 2000 to 2006.

"I had a great experience at Duluth," Huckaby said. "I have a lot of love and respect for that community. I think they'll get right back on track and be winning next year. There are a lot of good players coming back. The cupboard's not bare.

Huckaby is a 1993 graduate of Shiloh, where he played basketball and football. He also worked for two seasons as a community coach at his alma mater before moving to Grayson when it opened in 2000.

While Lanier has completed its basketball head coaching hires, the school it grew out of is just beginning. North has openings for both head boys and girls coaches to replace Watkins and former boys coach Len Garner.