After more than four decades on the sidelines, a local head coaching legend has called it quits.
Jacky Payne, the Lebanon High School girl's basketball coach, told his players on Monday that the 2022-23 season was his last as a head coach and that he had turned in his resignation letter to Lebanon activities director Will Christian.
“I would say it’s a bittersweet thing, but it’s more of an emptiness feeling,” the Hall of Fame coach said in a 25-minute sit-down interview. “It is like giving up something that has been a part of your life for so long, but on the other hand, I won’t be totally away from the game.
“I’ll be around the game in some capacity and be able to enjoy the game from a fan perspective.”
He said he had mulled around the idea of retirement when the season started but then wanted to focus on the year, and when districts rolled around, he wanted to make it as far as he could. The Lady Yellowjackets were eliminated in the Class 6 District 2 semifinal with a 54-47 loss to Parkway South last Saturday after a 16-11 season.
For more on this story, see Saturday's LCR.