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Longtime LC girls coach Jim Redmon takes over reins of Tigers’ boys team. (Jesse Tinsley)

LC hands boys job to Redmon

Longtime girls coach said decision difficult

Longtime Lewis and Clark girls basketball coach Jim Redmon has resigned to accept another coaching position.

He’s staying in the Greater Spokane League. In fact, he’s staying at Lewis and Clark. After interviewing Friday, Redmon has accepted the head boys basketball position.

Redmon, 54, replaces Jeff Norton, who was fired after nine seasons (73-117).

To listen to Redmon, he speaks with the excitement usually reserved for someone launching a head coaching career.

“I was looking for a change – something new; a new challenge,” Redmon said.

He was the LC girls coach for 19 seasons. His teams captured four State 4A championships, including three in a row, with some of the best talent the GSL has seen in one stretch.

“That’s why we were so successful. It wasn’t me. It was the talent,” Redmon said.

Norton was dismissed two weeks ago. LC didn’t waste any time finding a replacement.

“Last week was a whirlwind,” said Redmon, who met with the returning boys players Monday.

Redmon said he gave considerable consideration to swapping benches.

“It’s as tough a decision as I’ve ever gone through,” said Redmon, who said he talked with former Gonzaga University and now Oregon women’s coach Kelly Graves. “All of my friends and colleagues I talked to are extremely happy for my decision.”

Count Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow as one of those colleagues that will miss going head to head with Redmon.

“I hate losing one of ours to boys basketball,” Rehkow said. “He’s a great guy. I have nothing but respect for him. He knows his stuff. You don’t win without knowing your stuff.”

He’s leaving the girls program in good shape. He already had the summer tournament schedule set. The Tigers will return three starters and seven other letterwinners.

His longtime assistants – Kara Piippo and Michelle Spohr, both of whom played together at Richland High and have assisted Redmon for 12 years – will take over in the interim.

“Michelle was with me for all four state titles and Kara for three,” Redmon said.

He believes either one would be a good replacement.

“They were part of my day-to-day decision making, planning and organization,” Redmon said.

He said he won’t recommend one over the other.

Redmon doesn’t teach. He and his wife, Laura, own Divine Corporation – which features gas stations/convenience stores among other things. Laura’s parents, Jack and Ardith Divine, built the business, and the Redmons purchased it in 1989.

Redmon said he’ll miss the girls.

“I still care for and love them, and I want the best for these kids,” he said.

Redmon’s first job is to build a coaching staff.

“I thoroughly enjoy our league and believe I’ll enjoy the boys side of it, too,” he said.

Redmon’s move means there will be four new girls coaches in the GSL next year.