Pineville girls basketball coach Matt Shafer announced his resignation abruptly on Thursday and has left the school to attend to a family matter.
PHS principal Bill Keyes simply said Shafer resigned “to take care of his family,” and that the school hoped to name a permanent interim coach by next week.
Shafer has been the Lady Lions’ head coach since the 2010-11 season and the team went 40-54 over his three-plus years. They were the 51st District runners up in 2011 and won the 13th Region All “A” championship last year.
Pineville hosted Thomas Walker, Va., on Thursday and will visit Pulaski County on Friday. For those games former Lady Lion assistant Chris Murphy is serving as the acting head coach with current assistant Justin Evans taking on a bigger role in managing the games.
“I’ve been an assistant the last two years and stepped away from it. The stuff that went on went on, Matt resigned and Coach Keyes came to me and said, ‘we could really use your help right now,’” Murphy said. “For those girls I would do anything, so I stepped in and sat on the bench and will try to help out as much as I can. For right now, I’m going to help out (Thursday and Friday) and we’ll see what direction they want to go in from there. I just didn’t want those girls to be left out to dry, it was a pretty shaky day (Thursday).”
The Lady Mountain Lions responded well to the difficult situation on Thursday and beat Thomas Walker 69-39.
“They responded awesome and showed a lot of heart,” Evans said. “They were upset to see coach leave, obviously, and they stepped up and played better than I could have asked them to. I think coach would be real proud of them.”
Pineville (2-0) is scheduled to play at Pulaski County on Friday and at Harlan County on Tuesday before returning home to play Barbourville next Thursday.