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NEW AD EXPECTS SMOOTH TRANSITION

Travis Lamle ventured south after graduating from Indiana in 1999 to find a teaching gig. Around eight years later he finds himself stepping into Nature Coast's athletic director and girls basketball coach positions. Times staff writer Kellie Dixon caught up with the 31-year-old Indiana basketball fanatic.

Why, a few years ago while working at Fox Chapel, did you seek out a spot on Jason Montgomery's girls basketball staff?

When he first came to Nature Coast, it was more of me just reading the paper kind of thing. A college coach who coached girls at a brand new school, which I already was interested in. I paid attention that first year to what he was doing, called him up and wanted to see if there was anything I could do. He offered me a volunteer spot.

I volunteered for a year and took a paid position the next two years as an assistant.

What advice did he leave you since you're taking over both of his old roles?

As far as athletic director, it's the same type of work that I was doing at the middle school, only with more paperwork involved. The coaches we have here are great so I'm really not going to worry about that. We lost some quality coaches in (baseball coach Dan) Garofano, (boys basketball Travis) Priddy. Those are two of your bigger programs so getting those filled was a priority.

I don't know if he left me any basketball advice. We'd been together three years coaching so I pretty much knew what the pros and cons of the job were going to be. More definitely the pros because we've got a solid core of kids coming back.

How can you make his system your own?

We're going to stay with what was already in place. We're going to do some different things. But one of the things we talked about is if it isn't broke, don't fix it. They've won here every year. ...The only thing we'll have is a personnel change without Jess (Eberts) around. She shot the lights out from beyond the arc.

So the team will be a little different this year?

We're going to have to be a little more athletic so we're going to try to put it on the floor a little more than we have in the past. We'll play a little more man than we're used to. We'll throw in a couple of different sets but we're going to keep the main stuff.

Kellie Dixon can be reached at kdixon@sptimes.com or (352) 544-9480.

FAST FACTS

Up close: Travis Lamle

Age: 31

College: Indiana, 1999

New gig: Athletic director, girls basketball coach at Nature Coast

Previously: Coached and taught at Fox Chapel; also was athletic director.

Latest iPod addition: Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's

Favorite basketball coach: Bobby Knight, though Mike Krzyzewski is a close second.

One thing he can't leave the house without: His keys. That's not sarcasm, either. During a recent trip to Las Vegas, Lamle said he had to keep his keys in his pocket or he'd go crazy. He didn't have access to his car or his home, but having them gave him a sense of security.

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