Surprise! Buchanan records 300th career victory

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Fairland Lady Dragons’ head basketball coach Jon Buchanan got career coaching win No. 300 with a 62-43 win over Portsmouth Notre Dame on Monday. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tirbune)


PROCTORVILLE — In the words of Gomer Pyle in the Andy Griffith Show, “Surprise!, Surprise! Surprise!”

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When the Fairland Lady Dragons beat the Portsmouth Notre Dame Lady Titans 62-43 on Monday, senior Bree Allen set the new girls’ career scoring record.

But there was another milestone achieved as head coach Jon Buchanan earned his 300th career win. Buchanan ± now 300-71 overall with 10 OVC titles — said he was unaware of the accomplishment.

“I didn’t know it. I really didn’t,” said Buchanan. “Some people said, ‘Hey, that was your 300th win tonight.’ Our focus was on Notre Dame. Obviously, Notre Dame is pretty good so we were trying to win that game.

“We were also focused on Bree. I don’t know if my players knew it, but (athletic director Jeff) Gorby knew it, and maybe my wife knew it.”

Buchanan said he didn’t want to detract from Allen’s accomplishment, but admitted it was a nice coincidence.

“It was nice to get it on the night Bree got her thing (scoring record) because it just got to show you that you don’t get stuff like that unless good players,” said Buchanan.

In 14 seasons as the Fairland girls’ head coach, Buchanan’s teams have had 10 20-win seasons. He said each season he has to re-evaluate the talent and make a plan regarding how they need to play.

“We’ve tried to adjust with the times and what we have and what kind of team we have. Last year we pressed quite a bit and this year not quite as much. It changes every year based on what we think we can do,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan said in his early years he applied for the boys’ job on three different occasions only to have the job go to someone else.

So is Buchanan happy that things worked out the way they did?

“Absolutely!” said Buchanan.

“I was young and I wasn’t ready for that. But I’m glad I got the girls’ job. It’s great having a son who plays and not only just plays, but matters to his team. It’s fun that I can be a dad and go on walks with (his son) Brody and just talk about things they’re doing.”

Buchanan has coached Brody in AAU basketball, but he said if the boys’ job opened tomorrow, he wouldn’t make an effort to get the job.

In fact, Buchanan said he has no immediate plans to stop coaching the girls’ team. The only trump card in the deck that could change that is what happens with Brody, a junior, when he graduates.

“I don’t necessarily have any plans to stop anywhere soon, Brody would like to have a chance to play collegiately, so that will depend on where he goes. I like being a dad a lot more than I like being a basketball coach,” said Buchanan.

“That’ll definitely factor into what I’m doing. It might adjust our schedule quite a bit.”