Mike Pinkerton spent the past seven seasons coaching alongside Leta Andrews.
Now he’ll be coaching against her.
Pinkerton has taken the basketball head coaching job of the Aledo Ladycats. He had served as an assistant to Granbury Lady Pirate coach Andrews since 2006 and was also the head girls track coach.
Granbury and Aledo both compete in District 7-4A. Last season the Ladycats won district and Granbury was third.
Aledo swept three meetings from the Lady Pirates, including a victory in the Class 4A Region I quarterfinals on their way to the 4A State Tournament.
“It will be an interesting feeling coaching against those girls,” said Pinkerton. “I will never wish anything but success for those girls.”
Except when Granbury plays his team, of course, Pinkerton added with a chuckle.
Andrews wished Pinkerton luck in his new gig – with one certain exception.
“I told him best of luck and I hope they finish second in district,” she said with a laugh.
“He did such a great job with track, and he knows how to motivate kids. I admire his burning desire and Godspeed to him, but I told him that Granbury will be after them.”
Aledo athletic director Tim Buchanan said he was immediately impressed by Pinkerton and that several characteristics moved him to the top of a long list of qualified candidates.
“For one thing, he’s just a good guy,” said Buchanan. And one thing about it here at Aledo, we have to share athletes, and Mike shares that same philosophy.
“The fact that Mike was a head track coach and an assistant basketball coach was big in our decision. We had some applicants with more skins on the wall than Mike, but in hiring a head coach in Aledo, it’s vital that we get one that supports our kids playing multiple sports. Not all coaches see it that way.
“Once I met him and interviewed him, I knew he was what we were looking for.”
Buchanan said Pinkerton’s experience alongside Andrews, the all-time winningest high school basketball coach in history (1.397 wins) was also a factor in his hiring.
“Very seldom do coaches get the chance to work with a coach like Leta,” Buchanan said. “I was very blessed to work with Gene Rogers and then his son Ross.”
Gene and Ross Rogers are now in the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor. Buchanan, their protege, has won four state championships at Aledo (1998, 2009-11).
Pinkerton inherits a program that featured several underclassmen on last season’s state semifinalists. He said he knows expectations are always at their highest in Aledo, a program that qualified for the postseason in every sport except boys basketball and reached state in volleyball, girls basketball, girls golf and softball.
“I’ve been around long enough to have seen the good side and the tough side,” said Pinkerton. “I know they expect a lot, but so do I.”
Pinkerton helped coach the Lady Pirates to several deep playoff appearances, including the regional semifinals in 2012 and regional quarterfinals in 2013. As track coach, he helped Madison Northcutt, now pole vaulting at the University of North Texas, to three consecutive state appearances from 2010-12, including a bronze medal as a sophomore.
Pinkerton will assist with the track program in Aledo, Buchanan said.
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