Purser talks new direction in Borger basketball

Shortly after the Borger Bulldog basketball season came to an end in February, longtime Borger Boys Head Basketball Coach Lance Simpson was reassigned within the athletic department. Borger Athletic Director Rusty Purser said he believed it was time for the basketball program to go in a new direction.On Wednesday morning, Purser took a couple of minutes to talk about the circumstances surrounding the decision to make a change as well as how the search for a new coach has gone over the past month.Simpson, who had served as the boys head basketball coach for over the past nine seasons, had enjoyed success leading the Bulldogs to a several of trips to the playoffs, including reaching the regional semi-finals as well as back to back district titles in 2005 and 2006. However, over the past three seasons, the Bulldogs have struggled, leading to finishes at the bottom of the district standings that included the 2010-11 team finishing last by going 1-8 in District 1-3A play, 11-14 overall.On the last place finish, Purser said, “Over the past couple of years we have seen improvement or success in all of our athletic programs. In looking at where we are at in having no success, especially in district, it became apparent it was time for a change where perhaps that will involve a different philosophy or style.”As expected, Purser said Simpson was initially disappointed with the decision. However, there was a mutual understanding that a change was probably best in having the boys’ basketball program moving forward.Simpson has been reassigned within the Borger Athletic Department where Purser said he is continues to do a good job working with the Borger student athletes.Since the reassignment, Purser said there were between 45-50 impressive applicants that applied for the head coaching position. Purser made the first cut to eight for phone interviews. After the phone interviews, three of those eight were brought in for final interviews with Purser saying one candidate has been offered the position and expects to officially name the new head boys’ basketball coach during the next Borger ISD School Board meeting scheduled for next Thursday evening.While Purser was reluctant to provide names of the three finalists, the Borger Athletic Director said the three finalists included one from Central Texas and two from around the Houston area, with all three coaches having extensive head coaching experience.Purser said the biggest criteria he was wanting for the position was good head coaching experience, saying, “There were several good assistant coaches from other schools that applied, but I believe bringing in someone that has good experience and success leading a program is what we are needing to take the program in the right direction.”