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East Lincoln chooses Mallard Creek coach to lead its basketball program

Former Mallard Creek coach Jon Hancock
Former Mallard Creek coach Jon Hancock

Mallard Creek boys’ basketball coach Jon Hancock is leaving to become head coach at East Lincoln.

At East Lincoln, Hancock will replace Mustangs interim coach Chip Ashley. Hancock was approved by the Lincoln School Board Tuesday night. He will teach in East Lincoln’s physical education department.

“We are excited for Jon Hancock to lead our Varsity Boys Basketball program,” East Lincoln Principal Samantha Campbell said in a press release. “Coach Hancock brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and experience, as well as strong organizational skills and player development to our program.

“We feel he is an excellent fit to continue the success of Mustang Basketball.”

Hancock, who has a masters degree in physical education from Gardner-Webb, coached at Mallard Creek for four years. His Mavericks teams were 41-58 overall, but his 2016-17 team finished 18-8 and won the East Lincoln Winter Jam Christmas Tournament. The Mavericks also posted a school-record 14-game win streak.

In a 21-year coaching career, Hancock’s record is 324-233 overall. In addition to Mallard Creek, he’s coached at Lincolnton, Forestview and East Burke. Hancock has been conference coach of the year six times and was the 2008 District 10 N.C. Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year. His teams have won seven conference championships, two conference tournament titles and twice been regional runners-up.

At East Lincoln, he’ll inherit a program that has been to the 2A state championship game two of the past three seasons and is established as a regional power.

“I am proud to be a part of the rich history of the Mustang basketball program and Lincoln County School District,” Hancock said in the release. “My commitment to the players and parents will be to assist in the development of the skills and knowledge required to compete at a high level.

“It will take a team effort from players, parents, the community and coaches to continue the success at East Lincoln High School.”

Mallard Creek athletics director Philip Davanzo said the school would begin its search for a new coach immediately.

“We hate to see coach Hancock leave the Creek, but we fully understand this move and support he and his family's decision,” Davanzo said. “Coach Hancock will be difficult to replace, however. ...”

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