Elizabethton is going green with its new boys basketball coach.
No, the Cyclones aren’t recycling. They are turning to 25-year-old Lucas Honeycutt, who will be a high school head coach for the first time.
Honeycutt was the head coach for the girls team at T.A. Dugger Middle School this past season, leading it to an undefeated record (27-0) and a sectional championship. He replaces Len Dugger, who moved back to the girls’ varsity program at Elizabethton after filling in as a interim boys coach for most of the 2011-12 season.
“I’m ready to go,” said Honeycutt. “I’m definitely excited about the opportunity and very thankful.”
Honeycutt will obviously have to deal with questions about his age and experience.
“I will just have to show them,” he said. “I don’t believe in talking a lot. I work as hard as I possibly can. I don’t know everything there is to know, so I just work to get better every day.
“I want to show the players I’m there for them, and I want to be as good of a coach as I can be.”
Elizabethton athletic director Mike Wilson said he believes Honeycutt can help the program because he has experienced what the players have gone through.
“This will be our fourth coach in four years, and Lucas went through a similar situation at Hampton when he played,” said Wilson. “He had three coaches in three years. He understands what that is like.”
Honeycutt said he knows things haven’t been pleasant for the Elizabethton kids in that regard.
“I know the feelings and emotions they may have,” he said. “I can see where they are coming from. It was hard for me, and I know it’s hard for them.”
Wilson said he believes Honeycutt can be the solution for the Cyclones’ program.
“We had some other applicants who are very good coaches, but we didn’t feel they would bring us the stability that a younger guy could,” said Wilson. “We wanted somebody to be here for a long time. Lucas wants to be here, and I think he’s a great fit.”
Wilson said Honeycutt will no doubt put effort into this coaching position.
“The thing I really like about him is his work ethic,” said Wilson. “He just loves the game and is in the gym all the time. He’s watching them play, watching film, and he’s a real gym rat.”
Wilson said Honeycutt is wise beyond his years.
“The first time I interviewed Lucas, I got answers you would not expect from someone interviewing for an eighth grade position,” said Wilson. “This was a guy who could have been interviewing for a high school job. He’s coached the game and been around the game, and he knows the game.”
Honeycutt has no varsity head coaching experience, but did coach Hampton’s junior-varsity team.
“He’s a young guy with great maturity and character,” said Wilson. “He’s got a quiet strength about him. It’s not about Lucas, it’s about the kids. His demeanor, knowledge and work ethic set him apart.”