October 25, 2012 in Sports

Lake City High girls basketball coach resigns

By The Spokesman-Review

With a week to go before preseason practice was scheduled to begin, Royce Johnston has resigned as Lake City High School’s girls basketball coach.

Johnston said he was told by administrators that a couple of returning players planned to not turn out if he remained as coach.

“Obviously, I don’t want to come across as if it was scandalous,” Johnston said. “The administration at LC felt it was in the best interest of the program for me to resign. After a brief discussion (with administrators), the decision to step down was reluctantly made. I don’t want to come across bitter. I don’t want to burn any bridges or throw anybody under the bus.”

LC had a 58-36 overall record in four years under Johnston.

“Although I did not accomplish the things that I set out to do, I still leave with my head held high knowing I did my best,” Johnston said.

Bryan Kelly, a 1995 LC graduate who took a teaching job at LC this fall and planned to assist boys coach and athletic director Jim Winger, has been named Johnston’s replacement.

“We know this is a very hard decision for Royce,” Winger said. “Royce has always been a gentleman and a hard-working coach. We’ve always been supportive and thank him for his efforts and time.”

Kelly, 35, was a boys varsity assistant the last two years at Post Falls. “It’s going to be a whirlwind,” Kelly said about taking over the job at such a late date. “Coach Johnston put in a lot of time and hard work. I want to continue that work ethic.”

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