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Western gets new boys’, girls’ basketball coaches

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Tooey Loy has a long association with Western Alamance athletics, and Ryan Suttles has been involved for several years.

Now they both have new roles.

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Loy, whose credentials include time as a Division I college coach, has been selected as the new girls’ basketball coach for a Warriors program that has been on the rise. For the boys’ basketball team, Suttles moves from the junior varsity position to varsity coach.

Loy is a 1989 Western graduate and returned to the district as the in-school suspension instructor last week after several stops in collegiate coaching.

Tooey Loy, Western’s new girls’ basketball coach

“It just hit me,” Loy said. “Western had meant so much for me, and I love the community. It felt like home. What better thing to do than come back and try to build a great program.”

Loy takes the post previously held by Sean Quinn, who stepped down in March after his second stint as coach of the program. Quinn remains as athletics director at the school.

The Warriors should have a strong core of returning players from this past season’s 23-7 team, which reached the Class 3-A East Region semifinals.

Loy spent 17 seasons with High Point’s women’s program, including 10 as head coach, before holding assistant coaching roles for a season each at Young Harris (women’s staff under former Elon coach Brenda Paul) and Queens (men’s staff). At High Point, his teams went 163-135.

In April 2014, he was hired to coach at Pfeiffer, where he spent nine seasons as women’s coach. The Falcons were at the NCAA Division II level before moving down to Division III, with Loy’s mark at 83-128 with the school.

During the past season, Loy was out of formal coaching, though he officiated at the high school level in the Charlotte and Concord areas. He also participated on the staff of Yes I Can Basketball, a developmental program in the greater Charlotte area.

Loy’s wife is a nurse and they have two children, including a soon-to-be high school senior daughter. So they’ll remain in Concord, and the coach said he’ll commute a couple of times a week, staying some nights with family in Gibsonville.

Loy, 53, said he hopes to use connections to help with evaluating Western players who might be potential college recruits at various levels. He said it’s a coaching position he could envision occupying for 10 to 15 years.

“I’ve been watching film all week,” he said last Friday of studying the Warriors. “There’s no reason not to think we can make a run at a state championship.”

Loy was a point guard on High Point’s men’s team, graduating in 1994. Before that, he coveted time as an athlete at Western. He remembered when the girls’ basketball program thrived under longtime coach Erma Evans.

“It’d be great to get that kind of tradition going again,” he said.

 

Suttles moves up

Suttles, a social studies teacher, coached Western’s JV boys for the past three years. Before that, he spent about nine seasons in Guilford County, including four seasons with the Western Guilford JV boys.

“I felt like the time was right,” Suttles said for a varsity position. “I feel like I have the vision and experience.”

Ryan Suttles, new boys’ varsity basketball coach

That will be necessary for a boys’ program that has been in transition. Western finished with a 10-15 record during the past season, which included a coaching change. Michael Graves was out late January, with Brandon Chrisp and Bo Jordan filling in to complete the schedule.

“We’ve got to make a lot of changes to turn things around,” Suttles said. “There has been some good progress with the JV. We have a good opportunity to change course.”

Western’s last winning record came in 2019-20. Suttles’ most-recent JV team, which was largely freshmen-dominated, went 16-6 and placed second in the Central 3-A Conference.

Suttles, 40, played in high school for North Gaston before attending UNC Wilmington (where he didn’t play basketball).

  • Also, Tara Underwood was named as the new cheerleading coach at Western.

    Tara Underwood

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