CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The Robert C. Byrd boys basketball program has it’s new leader, and it’s someone very familiar with the Flying Eagles program.
The now-former RCB golf head coach, Basil Lucas, will take over the reigns for the recently retired Bill Bennett. Lucas will become the fourth head coach in RCB boys basketball history.
“I’m truly blessed with this opportunity. Robert C. Byrd has been a basketball school since 1996,” said Lucas on Thursday. “I’m excited about that (the summer). We’ll have a full summer period, where the kids will be able to come in and, obviously a day like today where we’re conditioning, but starting next week we’ll get to practice and start to go over things.”
Lucas confirmed to 12 Sports on Wednesday that he was approved by the Harrison County Board of Education during Wednesday’s special meeting.
A member of the Harrison County BOE also approved the move.
Lucas was the head basketball coach at Liberty for two seasons, before returning to Robert C. Byrd – a school that, as a student at Washington Irving High School, picked out the blue and green school colors for.
Bennett stepped down from his position as head coach in May following a 19-year stint with the Flying Eagles. Bennett won more than 320 games while being in charge of the RCB boys basketball program.
Lucas has been a big part of what the Flying Eagles have accomplished in recent years, both on the hardwood and on the golf course.
Lucas has led the Flying Eagles golf program to the state tournament in each of the past three seasons, and helped guide RCB to a third-place finish in Double-A this past year.
However, he will now step away from his coaching duties on the links and focus full-time on his responsibilities on the hardwood.
“Byrd’s golf team is in a great position. We’ve got a great bunch of young kids that are going to be back. They’re excited to play,” said Lucas.
Lucas will now be just the fourth head coach in program history, and only the third head coach since the turn of the century.
When asked about what he took away from coaching under Bennett for nearly a decade, game planning and scheming were on the list. But the program mentality was the biggest thing.
“One thing we’ve always talked about since I’ve been here with coach Bennett is about family, and how there’s much more to this job than just coaching basketball, and just teaching these kids X’s and O’s,” he said. “It’s about the relationships – you bond with them. It’s about the life-long lessons that they’ll learn. It’s also about the friendships that are forged in that locker room.”
Lucas will get his first opportunity to coach this team later this month during Robert C. Byrd’s annual summer tournament.