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Zornes returning as BC basketball coach

CANNONSBURG, Ky. — Roger Zornes is going home.

The former Boyd County Lions head basketball coach took a retirement job at Ironton High School and posted a 66-9 record in three season including the school’s first-ever 20-0 regular season and state runner-up in 2005.

But Zornes abruptly resigned as the Fighting Tigers coach after that monster season and has limited his time to teaching health.

That changed last week when Zornes accepted the job as the Lions head basketball coach, replacing Phil Pratt who resigned after five seasons to spend more time with his family.

“I’ve kind of been missing it a little bit. It’s just been eating at me a while,” said Zornes.

“(Principal) Rhonda Salisbury kept calling and we kept talking and then the superintendent called me and we talked.

“It was a good opportunity. The Boyd County people have been awful good to me. The superintendent, principal and athletic director have been very supportive to me. It seemed right so I went for it.”

As the head coach at Boyd County from 1982-2002, Zornes posted a 447-175 record and won seven 16th Region championships. Adding his brief stint at Ironton, he is 513-184 overall.

Ironton was 26-1 during the 2004-05 season and just missed winning a state championship. The Fighting Tigers lost 71-66 to North College Hill in the Division III title game that featured Southern Cal recruit O.J. Mayo and current Kansas State forward Bill Walker.

Boyd County was 15-14 last season and loses nine of its 12 roster players. The three returning players were starters.

Despite the loss of so many players and some other strong and tempting offers, Zornes said the Boyd County job was a good fit.

“It’s going to be a tough situation. We have two or three kids back we can build around. We’ll put the program in and see how quickly the kids can pick it up,” said Zornes.

With two years remaining on his contract, Zornes will continue teaching at Ironton while coaching at Boyd County.