LARGO – Former Largo High School Boys’ Basketball Coach Lewis Howard has moved.
Lewis has taken over as head coach at Oxon Hill High School after the Clippers did not retain Tony Greene for another year.
“It is just a tremendous opportunity to lead a program that has a very rich tradition in boys’ basketball,” Howard said. “I believe we will have an opportunity to compete for state championships for years to come.
“A lot of talented student-athletes have come through Oxon Hill, and I’m going to assess the roster going forward for the team.”
Howard, who played at Stony Brook University in New York from 1989-1992, is coming off his 17th season of coaching at Largo. He led the Lions to a record of 15-7 a year ago.
During his tenure with Largo he led the program to three county championships (2007, 2012, 2015) and four MPSSAA regional championships (2005, 2007, 2008, 2012), including the 3A state championship in 2008.
“I was offered the job at Oxon Hill last week,” Howard said. “The new principal wanted to go in a different direction. You know, one thing in life is that change is constant, and we just accept it and move forward.
“I am thankful for the past 17 years at Largo High School with 283 wins and 134 losses. Many young men were able to achieve their goals in life through the game of basketball. My staff and I played a part in it becoming the “Lion’s Den.” It’s just a great place to play, and I have so many memories here that will be missed.”
Oxon Hill finished this past season with a record of 13-6 under Greene. The Clippers sat at No. 6 in its division, coincidentally behind Largo in the standings.
The Clippers are losing their leading scorer in Mike Sumner. Sumner is transferring to St. Mary’s Ryken High School in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
Jabari Sewell, who played junior varsity this past season with Largo, said Howard would be missed and not forgotten. Sewell credited Howard with teaching him and others a lot with his experience and knowledge of the game.
“He was the only thing Largo knew after being the coach there for the past decade or so,” Sewell said. “He taught us a million things that we could use on and off the court.
“He taught us to stick together and the closer you are with your teammates the better you will get. He will be missed at Largo, but it will be very interesting playing against him next season.”
John Nwokoro was a three-point specialist in the class of 2016 who led Largo to a record of 16-7, but eventually fell in a playoff game to Frederick Douglass High School. Nwokoro averaged 10.4 points-per-game for Largo in the winter of 2015, and he said Howard had a way of making them bond together throughout the entire year.
“Every Largo team was a brotherhood,” Nwokoro said. “We were known for our trapping and defense. We loved to press because of Coach Howard, and we took pride in it. If you did not play defense, you were not going to play. Defense lead to offense, and Coach Howard had a brilliant defensive mind.”