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April 3, 2014

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Lieberman resigns as FC coach

Ex-U of L assistant goes 5-18 in one season

FLOYDS KNOBS — The Mark Lieberman era at Floyd Central High School has come to an end after one season.

The former University of Louisville assistant men’s basketball coach has resigned as the Highlanders’ boys’ basketball coach. New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation assistant superintendent Bill Briscoe confirmed Lieberman’s resignation on Thursday, stating the school district recently received the Floyd Central’s coach letter of resignation.

In his one season at FCHS, Lieberman guided the Highlanders to a 5-18 record. It was the program’s worst campaign since it went 3-18 during the 2006-07 season.

Floyd Central finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Hoosier Hills Conference with a 3-4 league mark. The Highlanders lost in the first round of the Class 4A Seymour Sectional to eventual sectional champion New Albany on March 4, 57-43.

Despite the rough season, Lieberman led Floyd Central to two big victories this year. The Highlanders defeated Jeffersonville for the first time since 2004 on Jan. 17, 71-70. On Feb. 25, they knocked off eventual Seymour Sectional runner-up Jennings County in overtime, 69-67.

Lieberman came to Floyd Central with a stellar resume. The South Florida native compiled a 335-95 record in 13 seasons as the head coach at Monsignor Pace High School in Miami.

During his Pace tenure, he led the school to four Florida state championships — three in Class 4A and one in Class 3A. Lieberman also was named Florida High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year three times.

In 2010, Lieberman became an assistant men’s coach at Louisville for Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino. During the 2011-12 campaign, he took a non-coaching position with the Cardinals, becoming their director of basketball operations.

In the 2012-13 season, Lieberman moved back to South Florida to become an assistant men’s basketball coach at Florida International University under Pitino’s son Richard.

When Richard Pitino became the head men’s coach at the University of Minnesota this season, Lieberman moved to Southern Indiana and shortly thereafter got the Floyd Central job.

The Highlanders have not won the Hoosier Hills Conference title and a sectional championship since 1989. That was the season they went to the old Final Four under Hall of Fame coach Joe Hinton. The team’s star player was Pat Graham, who was named Indiana Mr. Basketball that year.

Attempts to reach Lieberman and Floyd Central athletic director Jeff Cerqueira were unsuccessful.

News and Tribune staff writer Jerod Clapp contributed to this story.

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