Lindsay Coyne received an early birthday present Monday night.
Coyne, one of the greatest girls' basketball players in Martins Ferry High history, will turn 27 years of age on May 23. She will now have the opportunity to guide the program she starred for less than a decade ago.
Coyne was officially hired Monday night by the Martins Ferry Board of Education as the Purple Riders' head girls' basketball coach. The 2003 Ferry High graduate replaces Dave Reasbeck who stepped down last month after eight years at the Purple post.
She is no stranger to coaching as she guided the Purple Riders' junior high program last winter.
"I am coming into a good program where Coach Reasbeck had the Martins Ferry girls' team compete day-in and day-out. We have a nice core group, talented incoming freshman class, and the valley's leading scorer returning, so the future is very promising," Coyne noted.
Coyne brings with her a clear focus to the position.
"My passion and motivation for sport and competition has put me in a position where I can help young women excel at the highest level on and off the court at my alma mater. I have a lot of memories that I hold dear to my heart as being a student-athlete at Martins Ferry," Coyne said. "More importantly, I developed the love for the game of basketball through my father at a very young age, where I was taught commitment and dedication was a necessity."
During her Purple Riders' prep days, Coyne lettered in four sports: volleyball, basketball, softball and track. She was a two-time all-Ohioan and 1,400-point scorer in hoops, helping the Lady Riders of Kim Appolloni to a pair of OVAC championships and the school's lone girls' hoops regional berth. Coyne was a three-time first-team all-OVAC honoree while being named district player of year as a senior.
"I am excited about returning to Ferry. I have the utmost respect for Kim and appreciate what Dave has done for the program," Coyne said.
After her success-filled prep days at Martins Ferry, Coyne went on to enjoy a banner basketball career at Wheeling Jesuit University. She was a four-year performer and two-year co-captain for Coach Joe Key. Coyne helped the 2005 Lady Cardinals capture the WVIAC championship.
Coyne also excelled in the classroom as she was named a WVIAC All-Academic Student-Athlete. She graduated magna cum laude from WJU in 2007 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. Coyne attended graduate school at WJU, receiving her doctorate degree in the field of physical therapy in 2009.
Coyne has been a practicing physical therapist for three years.
"Lindsay is a great fit for our program. She was a great player and student of the game who knows how to build a program," Appolloni, now Martins Ferry's athletic director, said. "She knows how to balance her time and talents as she participated in four sports but was still able to channel enough effort to become a great basketball player. With less kids participating these days, Lindsay is a great role model for multi-sport athletes.
"Lindsay is a character young lady with a great grasp of basketball. We are excited about what she brings to the program," Appolloni said. "I would be remiss if I didn't thank Dave (Reasbeck) for all he did for the program. Dave is an excellent coach whose teams enjoyed much success. I enjoyed working with him and I hope he returns to coaching again some day."
Coyne is still in the process of assembling a staff. She is also considering holding a summer shootout at Ferry.
"As a Martins Ferry High School graduate, I understand the importance to install a strong foundation in the lives of these young women and I will promote, lead, and teach leadership, teamwork, dedication, discipline, and communication," Coyne said. "These five pillars will promote lifelong learning that will be applied to the basketball program and through their adulthood."
Lindsay's brother, Chad, was also an all-Ohio hoopster for the Purple Riders.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com