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BUCKNER – The new head coach of the Oldham County High School Lady Colonels has never coached or lived in the county, but is very familiar with the program.Larry Just, a 19-year veteran of college coaching, was introduced as the new OCHS coach Monday to replace Jamie Dumstorf, who resigned at the end of last season.Just, the brother of Spalding University coach Charlie Just, became familiar with the OCHS program in his eight years as an assistant women’s coach at Bellarmine University and through his brother’s close friendship with OCHS principal Dr. Dave Weedman, a former coach.“My interest in the job was initially sparked when my family was interested in getting back to this area,” Just said. “When Dr. Weedman contacted me I was interested. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think this could be a great situation. I would not have come here from coaching in college if I didn’t believe that.”Just comes to OCHS from a year at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennesseewhere the team went 13-15 last season.
He spent eight years prior at Quincy University in Illinois.After his first team went 0-26, he compiled a 155-35 record including four straight 20-win seasons and four straight trips to the NCAA tournament.He is also a former two-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year.A graduate of St. X in Louisville, he played for Indiana University-Southeast before spending a year at St. X as the freshmen coach.Just comes from a coaching family.Charlie coached at Mercy Academy before moving on to coach the Bellarmine men’s and women’s programs along with the Spalding program.Another brother, Jimmy, is one the metro area’s most successful and respected high school boys’ coaches, taking Iroquois to two Sweet 16’s before moving on to Jeffersonville for a year and then to Manual where he coaches now.“I think I can honestly say we have filled this position with every skill we wanted as a head coach,” OCHS assistant principal Brent Deaves said. “He fits every criteria we wanted in a coach and a teacher.”Just and his wife, Denise, have three children and both wanted to get back into the area where their familes live.Just wasted no time in letting the Lady Colonels know his philosophy in the initial meeting with the team Monday.“I am not a big guy on ‘you have to go here and go there for this or that,’” Just said. “We are going to learn the game of basketball and we are going to learn the fundamentals. The coaches don’t get to make plays on the floor, the players make the plays and we are going to prepare you to know how to make those plays.”Just also let the players know he expects a return to the state’s elite programs.“If you are going to play basketball at Oldham County there are going to be high expectations and a lot of pride,” he said. “Our goal is always going to be to win the district, win the region and eventually win the state.Just said what players get out of this basketball program will be what they put into it.“If you are good enough to earn playing time you will get playing time,” he said. “If you are not good enough, you won’t. It is all up to the amount of work to get better you are willing to put in. Our expectation is to win championships. If you are not interested in that, then you probably don’t want to be a part of our program.”Just will teach math at OCHS and met with assistant coach Adam Etienne who will run the open gym program until Just gets settled in the area.Just inherits a team that lost its two big players in 6-foot-2 Lindsay Melton and 6-foot-3 Tara Huckvale, but returns starting guards Audri Beaudrie and Ellen Ford in addition to forward Emily Lape.OCHS also returns a pair of strong sophomore to be swingmen in Brianna Howard and Ericka Hardin.“For me the chance to get back into the area was big,” Just said. “When I went to Quincy it was just my wife and myself. Now, three kids later, we want to come back and this is a great chance for me to come into a program that has a chance to be very good and has been very good.”
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