Fairland tabs Speed new girls cage coach

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2000

PROCTORVILLE – Nathan Speed plans to live up to his name.

Saturday, July 01, 2000

PROCTORVILLE – Nathan Speed plans to live up to his name.

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The newly-hired Fairland Lady Dragons head basketball coach wants to play a style that’s reflective of his last name.

"We’re going to try and get up and down the floor and play a fast-paced game," Speed said. "And we should be deep enough to do that. But we want to build a team around defense. You can’t always score a lot of points."

The Fairland Board of Education hired Speed 5-0 Thursday night to replace former coach Jack Harris who forced to resigned due to alleged improprieties.

Speed inherits a program that won a school record 17 regular season games last season and its third Ohio Valley Conference championship in three seasons under Harris.

but Speed said the tradition of the program is what was most attractive.

"It’s a good opportunity and I’m very thankful for it," Speed said. "Watching the girls play, they play hard and they really love to play and that’s why I took the job."

Speed, 25, graduated from Fairland in 1993. He obtained his teaching degree from Ohio University in 1998. He has been an assistant coach to Thacker the past three years.

"I enjoy working with Joey a lot and we have a good friendship. Having worked with Joey was a great experience. We talk every day about basketball. He’s done an excellent job with the boys the past few years," Speed said.

Even though Speed will be switching from the boys program to the girls, he doesn’t see an problems.

"I don’t think there is a big difference. Basketball is basketball. If you love the game, it doesn’t matter. Coaching is the same as teaching. You have to motivate the kids to study and learn, and you have to use different way," Speed said.

The biggest difference facing Speed will be as the head coach instead of an assistant.

"There’s a lot more pressure being the head coach," Speed said. "Being an assistant was more of a helping role instead of making the final decision. I just threw ideas out. Now, I make the final decision and the pressure’s on me. But I’m excited about the job and the chance to be a head coach."

Speed thinks the transition to head coach will be easy because of the support that he has received throughout the program and the community.

"There will be a lot of support there because it’s such a good program from Buddy League up, and the board is very supportive," Speed said. "And it’s easy to work with (athletic director) Roger Snyder. He’s very well respected."