Back to the grid­iron

Ething­ton steps down as Lackey boys hoops coach, takes on foot­ball po­si­tion at Gal­laudet

Maryland Independent - - Sports B - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Af­ter be­ing the front­man for the Lackey boys bas­ket­ball team for the last two sea­sons, Luke Ething­ton re­cently stepped down as the head coach of the pro­gram.

The for­mer Charg­ers coach now re­turns to the foot­ball coach­ing scene where he ac­cepted an of­fen­sive as­sis­tant coach­ing po­si­tion at NCAA Divi­sion III’s Gal­laudet Univer­sity, a fed­er­ally char­tered pri­vate univer­sity to ac­com­mo­date stu­dents of the deaf and hard of hear­ing lo­cated in Washington, D.C.

Ething­ton’s son, Cameron, a 2015 Lackey grad­u­ate, at­tends Gal­laudet and started in eight games as a true fresh­man on the foot­ball team as a cen­ter on the of­fen­sive line.

Luke Ething­ton of­fi­cially started his new po­si­tion on April 27 and will con­tinue to teach at Lackey where he teaches English and is a AVID men­tor­ship and ACT/ SAT co­or­di­na­tor. He is no stranger to be­ing in the coach­ing ranks at the col­lege level hav­ing been a

part-time bas­ket­ball as­sis­tant for Divi­sion III out­fit Alma Col­lege (Mich.) in 2002.

“I have been blessed to have been a head foot­ball, bas­ket­ball and track coach dur­ing my ca­reer,” said Ething­ton, who stepped down as Lackey’s coach on April 11 and will be coach­ing the slot run­ning backs at Gal­laudet. “Now, I’m ex­tremely ex­cited to ven­ture into the col­lege world. Though I’ve had op­por­tu­ni­ties in the past to coach col­le­giately, this op­por­tu­nity is one that I could not pass up.”

Ething­ton said that he was in­ter­ested in coach­ing at Gal­laudet even be­fore his son went there, but when he saw that head coach Chuck Gold­stein ran the pro­gram that is what helped spark his de­ci­sion to make the move.

“When I saw that he was run­ning this pro­gram I wanted to be a part of it,” Ething­ton said. “I met Chuck a few years ago and we al­ways kept tabs on each other. He was al­ways a class act. I’ve only been an as­sis­tant one year in my whole ca­reer. I wouldn’t work for just any­one. He’s a per­son I’m ex­cited to work for.”

Gal­laudet is of­fi­cially bilin­gual, with Amer­i­can Sign Lan­guage and English used for in­struc­tion and by the col­lege com­mu­nity.

“The main rea­son I chose Gal­laudet was be­cause it takes me out of my com­fort zone,” he said. “With sign

lan­guage and com­mu­ni­ca­tion bar­ri­ers at hand, I have to learn new ways to ac­com­plish tasks. Ev­ery day I will be faced with a chal­lenge that is dif­fer­ent from the day be­fore. I em­brace these type of en­vi­ron­ments be­cause it de­vel­ops a great deal of per­sonal growth.”

In his two sea­sons at Lackey, Ething­ton led the pro­gram to a com­bined 2718 over­all record. This past win­ter his Charg­ers fin­ished third be­hind North Point and West­lake in the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence’s Po­tomac Divi­sion at 7-5, end­ing with a 14-10 record over­all.

“I’ve been telling peo­ple that I stepped down for all the right rea­sons,” Ething­ton said. “When [for­mer Lackey prin­ci­pal] Dr. [James] Short

hired me, it was with the un­der­stand­ing that I would try to es­tab­lish some things in the pro­gram to in­crease our com­pet­i­tive­ness. I feel like that has been done, and now is a good time for some­one to take the pro­gram to the next ech­e­lon. I had a great staff that made me look bet­ter than I re­ally was, a great con­fi­dant in [ath­letic di­rec­tor] Tony Mast and solid sup­port from my ad­min­is­tra­tion. I couldn’t have asked for any­thing more.”

Be­fore his brief stint with the Charg­ers, Ething­ton was the head foot­ball coach at McDonough for five sea­sons, most no­tably lead­ing the Rams to a Class 2A state cham­pi­onship in 2010. Dur­ing his five years, he coached the pro­gram to a com­bined 42-14 record, the

sec­ond-high­est win­ning per­cent­age in school his­tory and 33 play­ers com­mit­ted to play at the col­lege level dur­ing his time. Twice dur­ing those five years he was also named the All-SMAC and All-County Coach of the Year. He also was an as­sis­tant coach on the Lackey foot­ball pro­gram in 2007 that ad­vanced to the 3A state semi­fi­nal game.

“I had the ab­so­lute great­est time coach­ing dur­ing these past two sea­sons.,” Ething­ton said. “Though I don’t have the deep­est knowl­edge of the game, I had fun com­ing to work ev­ery day and push­ing my­self to learn some­thing new. I was so blessed to have the

play­ers I had in my pro­gram. They bought in from day one and made my job a lot eas­ier from the start. The part I will miss most is the laughs we had to­gether, but the process over­all, from learn­ing how to com­pete, to learn­ing how to win. This young group is primed and ready. I ex­pect great things from them.”

Ething­ton’s wife, Toni, is the head vol­ley­ball coach at Lackey and their old­est son Lu­cas cur­rently plays ju­nior hockey for the Bing­ham­ton Sen­a­tors in New York. The Ething­tons’ two youngest, Daw­son, 11, and Car­son, 9, also plays hockey.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Luke Ething­ton stepped down as Lackey head boys bas­ket­ball to take an of­fen­sive as­sis­tant coach­ing po­si­tion at NCAA Divi­sion III’s Gal­laudet Univer­sity in Washington, D.C.

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