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Boardman girls get new head coach
July 17, 2019

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When the Boardman girls basketball team takes the court this winter it will do so with a new man in charge of the crew.

Boardman graduate and assistant head coach Justin Coffin will take over the girls program for the 2019/2020 season. He will replace longtime Lady Spartan leader Jeff Hammerton who will ascend to the position of assistant athletic director. Coffin is no stranger to the Spartans as he has not only served as Hammerton's sidekick, but he has also spent the past four seasons as the Boardman junior varsity head coach. He has also spent time as a boys coach at Glenwood Middle School. The new coach recently released a statement revealing how thrilled he was with his promotion and to pay homage to the people who helped get him there.

"I am honored to be the next head coach of the Boardman Lady Spartans basketball team," Coffin wrote. "Thank you to everyone that has encouraged and mentored me over my first ten years of coaching and throughout my life. Without my family, friends, players and coaching colleagues I could have never gotten this new role."

One of the people that Coffin included in that group was Hammerton, who has been a fountain of inspiration to him over the years. In fact, it was the assistant who was there to comfort the head coach after the Spartans' season ended with a loss to Walsh Jesuit in the state tournament this past March.

"Jeff is a great guy and I've learned a lot from him," said Coffin. "I texted him after the season and told him the true measure of success isn't defined by your win/loss record, but the positive impact we've had on our athletes."

Hammerton's new role at Boardman is part of a restructuring of the athletic office that also sees Marco Marinucci take over for the retired Denise Gorski as Athletic Director. Those moves went into effect July 1.

"It was a great opportunity for me, and I could not pass it up," said the self-proclaimed "Boardman lifer" Hammerton. "It's a whole new staff, but we have a great working relationship. I'm excited to get to work."

Excitement could also be heard in Coffin's voice when discussing the job in front of him and the passion he has for the sport he coaches.

"I love the game of basketball," he said. "I love the X's and O's, the life lessons it teaches, but more than anything, I love the people that it has brought into my life. I embrace this awesome challenge and I will do my best to make this experience a great one for our players and coaches."

One of Coffin's greatest challenges this year will be to revive a Spartans team that struggled at times last winter and finished the season below .500. Although five seniors graduated, Coach Coffin believes he has enough solid returning players to make a run in the postseason. Boardman has made the district semifinals twice over the past four seasons.

"We have amazing student athletes and a strong junior class," Coffin said. "You win with the people around you and we all want to win on the court. We need to stay healthy and go into the season with the focus of getting a little better each day. Our goals are to compete for conference, district, regional and state championships and for our school and community to be proud of our student-athletes on and off the court."

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