LUMBERTON — Former Red Springs girls basketball head coach Steve Sinclair is going to be walking the sidelines in Robeson County next season, but this time he’ll be donning maroon and gold.
The Board of Education of the Public Schools of Robeson County on Tuesday approved Sinclair as the next head coach for the Lumberton girls basketball team making the jump up from the 2A level to 4A.
Sinclair finished his six-year tenure at Red Springs with a combined record of 84-47. The Lady Red Devils logged five playoff appearances during his tenure and won the Three Rivers Conference tournament in 2017.
Red Springs finished 18-8 last season, losing to Farmville Central in the first round of the playoffs.
“I sincerely enjoyed my time at Red Springs,” Sinclair said. “It was difficult to leave. It’s exciting to have an opportunity to move up the ranks.”
Sinclair said he is familiar with some of the players and coaches at Lumberton, a factor that made the job enticing.
“I’ve built relationships with coaches and players all around,” Sinclair said.
Danny Graham coached the Lady Pirates for 23 years before retiring after last season. He guided the Lady Pirates to a state championship in 2002 as well as a runner-up finish.
The Lady Pirates finished 25-5 last season, winning the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament championship and advancing to the third round of the NCHSAA state playoffs.
Two-time Robeson County Player of the Year London Thompson and Destiny Hardin were the only seniors on last season’s team. They both were named to the all-conference team.
Lumberton’s top returner is rising senior Madison Canady, who averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds last season. Also returning is Rachel O’Neil, who took home the county’s Most Improved Player award after averaging just under nine points three rebounds per game, and will also be a senior for the Lady Pirates.
Sinclair said he wants to maintain the tradition of success that Graham developed at Lumberton.
“During my time at Red Springs, we built a program based on hard work. That’s how they play at Lumberton,” Sinclair said. “I want to keep that going.”
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.