PORTLAND – Portland High School has made another splash. No, another coach has not left, but instead a top-notch, quality basketball coach has arrived. Principal David Woods and Athletic Director Ginger Lesemann introduced Darryl Travis as their new boys basketball coach on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at the high school.
Travis replaces former coach Josh Epperson who left after one season to be an assistant with the Trevecca Nazarene Women’s Basketball program. Travis resigned as Springfield boys basketball coach last month after winning District 10-AAA’s 2016-17 Coach of the Year award.
The Yellow Jackets made the Region 5-AAA Tournament in both of Travis’ season as head coach, 2015-16 and 2016-17.
“We absolutely got the man we wanted,” said Portland Principal David Woods. “With everything considered and everything going on I thought we did very well. I’ve known Darryl since the early 90’s and our Kentucky coaching days. He is a quality individual and we are absolutely thrilled to have him at Portland.”
Travis will make the transition from one of the top teams in its respective district to a program that has been known as of late for finishing near the bottom.
“I’m excited about making Portland competitive again,” said Travis. “I met the team today, some of the parents, everyone seems like good, respectful people. Everyone tells me how hard they are going to work and we will need that from them.”
Travis said he wants to instill in his team a tough, winning mentality.
“We will change this program,” he said. “There is no reason Portland can’t be competitive. It will take a lot of hard work to get better every day but we will get there. It’s all about defense, rebounding and taking good shots. I am excited to get to work with these boys.”
Travis said one of his first objectives is getting summer games lined up and seeing what his team looks like on the floor.
“You, we, will get better every moment, every day, and every game. We will be better than we were yesterday,” he continued. “At some point, you will see the lightbulb go off for these kids and it will start to click.”