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Wednesday, July 15, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Liberty hires Thacker

Mike Thacker has been named the boys basketball coach at Liberty in Spangle.

Thacker was most recently the head coach at Freeman before he was dismissed. His overall record in 25 years, which includes stops at Tonasket and Moses Lake, is 375-240. In 12 years at Freeman his teams were 234-91.

Thacker will continue to teach at Freeman.

“Coaching’s in my blood,” Thacker, 52, said. “Being out for two to three years was long enough. I need to be back in it. I was driving people crazy not being able to coach.”

Acting Liberty athletic director Blaze Burnham announced Thacker’s hire in a statement he shared with Liberty staff, parents and athletes.

“Not only does Mike have an extreme passion for building success at the high school level, but also is very committed to building a solid basketball program by establishing a basketball foundation in the earlier grades,” Burnham said.

Greg Lee

Eight GU teams make NCAA list

Gonzaga University had eight teams earn NCAA Public Recognition Awards as the NCAA recognized more than 800 Division I sports teams Wednesday for exceptional work in the classroom as part of the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program.

Men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s tennis, men’s outdoor track, women’s rowing and volleyball were Bulldogs teams earning NCAA Public Recognition Awards based on their most recent multiyear Academic Progress Rates (APR). Gonzaga led all West Coast Conference teams with eight sports honored.

Eastern Washington’s men’s cross country team, Idaho’s women’s golf team and Washington’s men’s basketball and women’s golf team were also recognized.

Based on their most recent multiyear Academic Progress Rates, 841 teams earned NCAA Public Recognition Awards, up from 767 teams last year. The awards are given annually to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with their APRs.

Full APR scores for all Division I sports teams, including penalties for low-performing teams, will be released later this spring. An APR score of 925 is the minimum level of academic success. Teams scoring less than 925 can lose scholarships and face other sanctions over time, including bans on postseason play.

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