Kentucky coach retires on morning of team's big playoff game

A high school coach in basketball-mad Kentucky picked an inopportune time to step down, resigning on the day of the team's District Tournament semifinal matchup on Wednesday.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Greg Coldiron stepped down Wednesday from his post as head coach of the Lafayette (Ky.) High basketball team, citing health issues. While the motivations for Coldiron's resignation were unquestionable, his decision to announce the resignation on the morning of what turned out to be his team's 88-69 blowout loss to Lexington Catholic in the District Tournament semifinals left players and the team's interim coach, Sean Noble, concerned about more than just Lexington Catholic's hot shooting.

"What happened with Coach [Coldiron] weighed heavily on all our minds," Noble told the Herald-Leader. "We said a prayer for him before the game, and I thought the kids were as up as they could get.

"But we ran into a buzz saw. That's a great Catholic team that played great."

Coldiron, pictured at right, coached for 27 years until his abrupt departure on Wednesday. He admitted the timing of his retirement was inopportune, but insisted that it couldn't be avoided in an interview with the Herald-Leader.

"My doctor gave me orders that I need to step away from it right now," Coldiron said Wednesday morning. "I know it's terrible timing, but I have to do what's best for me and my health."

Coldiron said he has had heart issues for the last year. He also has diabetes.

"My doctor is scared, and I'm scared about it," he said. "I haven't taken care of myself like I should."

While most have sounded sympathy for the longtime high school coach, a quick return might dent that perception. Coldiron told the Herald-Leader that he hoped he could return to coaching once his health issues show a marked improvement.

Whether Coldiron could return to the Lafayette bench remains to be seen, though one thing is certain: They'd be happy to have him if he could help avoid the 23 turnovers and 37 percent shooting the Generals struggled with on Wednesday.

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