Lincolnton High School has completed its search for the next varsity basketball coach with the hiring of Phil Robinson.
Robinson is no stranger to the Wolves’ basketball program. His father, Alton, played for Lincolnton in the mid-80’s under Lavell Hall, and Robinson grew up around the program. He would later play for former head coach Bob Cowie, before graduating in 2007.
Over the last eleven years, Robinson has helped with the LHS program in some capacity, whether as an assistant coach under John Cloninger, holding camps at LHS or taking his services to AAU teams.
Robinson, who played a couple seasons at Caldwell Community College, will now get his opportunity to put his mark on the program.
“To wear the Black & Gold is an honor,” Robinson said on Wednesday afternoon. “It means a lot. Knowing that I played here, and all the players that played before me.”
And he is looking forward to the task.
Robinson said that his expectations are for anyone in the program to play hard at all times, and cheer each other on. He also noted that his expectations will be high in the classroom.
The new head coach hopes to see his team get up and down the floor with the style of young athletes that are currently in the program. “The big guys are agile,” said Robinson, “and our athletes can get up and down the court.”
He also thinks the Wolves will be fine in a half-court set when forced to play a slower tempo.
Robinson said that he’ll hold the kids to high standards, and he feels if things go right, his 2021-22 squad could finish in the upper echelon of the new Catawba Valley 2A Conference.
He wants to be involved and communicate more with the Lincolnton Middle School program. “I’m definitely going to stay in contact with the middle school,” Robinson said. “These kids come to the high school games and look up to our players. We must return the loyalty.”
As for community support, Robinson feels that he already has their blessing. “The players and the parents are excited,” said Robinson. “They know me from being the JV coach and as a varsity assistant. I just have to get them to understand my expectations.”
New Lincolnton High School principal Scott Carpenter said of Robinson, “I expect Phil to continue to build on the basketball program. He’ll work with the varsity, JV and even reach out to the middle school. And he’s a great person.”
Robinson will take over a program that finished 8-6 last season, but did not make the playoffs in a Covid-19 shortened season. The NCHSAA playoffs were reduced last season, with just the top two teams in each conference earning automatic berths. The Wolves finished in fourth place.
Lincolnton hopes to get back in the mix for a conference championship sooner than later, and Robinson is eager to get things started. The Wolves also want to get back to being a perennial playoff team and the school hopes that Robinson is just the person that can get it done.
“I just can’t wait to get started playing, and giving back to our community will be great,’’ Robinson said. “I think the world of our community.”
Robinson is married to his wife Chelsea, and they have a son (Omari) and a daughter (Mayah). (Published June 11, 2021)