Jeff Cali Sports Editor email@example.com
Oftentimes, coaches are accused of chasing talent when moving from job to job.
It’s rare, however, to accuse one of leaving talent. That’s exactly what Roff boys coach Bo Thomason has done.
Thomason, who spent the last three seasons building Roff into a Class A contender, has accepted a job as the head girls basketball coach at Amber-Pocasset.
The Tigers were an eyelash away from a berth in the state tournament this season, and they will lose only two players — Lonnie Petersen and Cade Carpenter — to graduation. The Tigers finished 22-8 and dropped a heart-breaking 34-32 decision to Kiowa in a Class A Area consolation championship game.
And Roff has a wealth of talent coming back for possibly another strong run in the 2014-15 season.
“I love Roff. I’ve loved every second of it. We built the program back up together, and I hate to leave a really good group coming back, but we just felt like it was the best situation for us,” Thomason said. “Those kids are great kids, and it’s a great administration. There will be many times that I’ll probably regret it, but I feel like I’m leaving a good situation for a good situation.”
At Amber-Pocassett, his wife, Leah, will also have a job with the school. The Thomasons will live near the campus.
“It’s probably more of a move for my family than anything. We really like that the whole family will be in the same school system,” he said.
The Lady Panthers finished the 2013-14 season 16-11, dropping a slim 41-38 decision to Colbert in a Class 2A Regional Tournament in Purcell. Amber-Pocasset’s leading scorer, Suzanne Parker, will be back to build next year’s team around.
“That’s considered a down year for them. They’re traditionally a pretty big powerhouse in small-school basketball. There’s supposed to be a lot of tradition there,” Thomason said. “They’re supposed to be having a little bit of talent coming back up there with a bunch of young kids that are supposed to be pretty good.”
Roff officials hope to have a new boys basketball coach in place soon to lead a team that will have high expectations heading into the fall.
“Whoever takes the Roff job next year I think should be in the state tournament,” Thomason said. “You never know, but they have a ton of talent coming over the next several years.”