Former JCM head coach returns to Hub City to oversee both squads at Tech
JACKSON, Tenn. - Lonnie Starks provided a spark for the Jackson Central-Merry basketball program during his first run in the Hub City. He’s now been selected to ignite the basketball programs at Liberty Technology Magnet High School. Starks was named head coach of the boys and girls teams at Tech on Thursday.
“When I arrived at JCM, I rebuilt that program because they had been down for five years. Ripley was pretty much the same way when I came there. I relish the opportunity to build a program,” Starks said.
Similar to Rick Rudesill’s tenure in Bolivar, Starks coached both boys and girls teams during the majority of his time in Ripley. He coached the Tigers to two sub-state appearances and, in 2015, a state tournament berth. In 2006, Coach Starks led the Cougars to their first district championship in 22 years; JCM won five district titles under Coach Starks. He brings 27 years of coaching experience to Liberty.
“I’ve tasked Coach Starks with providing consistency for both programs. From his days as an assistant at Dyer County, to his time as a head coach in this district, Lonnie has a track record of building competitive programs. I am confident that he will do the same at Liberty,” Superintendent Dr. Marlon King said.
A native of Dyersburg, Starks played college basketball at Dyersburg State before graduating from Lane College. His first coaching assignment was at Newbern Junior High School. He served as an assistant at Dyer County High School before joining the staff at JCM in 2004. Starks worked in the state of Florida as an epidemiologist prior to his move to education.