Luke steps down from basketball job
Rockmart coach will continue to lead Lady Jackets’ softball program.
Rockmart coach Steve Luke has given up one of his jobs for the Jackets athletics programs.
Luke handed in his resignation as Rockmart’s boys basketball coach in the past days according to Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Barry Williams. Luke will however remain as the Lady Yellow Jackets softball coach, Williams said.
“He was legitimately doing a great job with the team,” Williams said.
Luke confirmed t hat he’d continue coaching the defending state champion Lady Jacket softball program in 2018. The Lady Jackets went 35- 2 in 2017, undefeated in Region 7-AA play and only lost to 3A Calhoun and 4A Northwest Whitfield during the regular season. That came off the heels of the Lady Jackets Final Four appearance in 2016.
“There are other areas that I need to focus on, and I was thankful for the challenge to get to coach high school basketball,” he said.
That challenge was one he overcame with flying colors in his season as the program’s head, and the third major sport he’s coached at Rockmart High School in his 17 year career in the Polk School District.
Rockmart’s boys basketball team finished the year with a 17-12 record, making it to the championship game in Region 7-AA, and a first round playoff win at home. The Jackets were knocked out of the State Tournament in the second round against Spencer on the road.
Luke added that time spent coaching after a long season of softball was the leading factor in his decision.
He added that the time a basketball coach puts in isn’t just on the sideline during games, but devoted to practices, travel, fundraising and much more.
“I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to be a high school basketball coach is when it comes to time,” Luke said.
Luke added that with the hard work the team put in this past season to get to the level they did, they are slated for better things to come despite his decision to step down.
“They’ re going to be successful no matter what,” he said.
Williams said the search for a new head coach is already underway, and he hopes to be able to present a candidate for the Polk County Board of Education to approve during their May meeting.
Rockmart coach Steve Luke gave up his position as the boy’s basketball coach, but will remain over the softball team.