Bertrand leaves Midland for Iota

CROWLEY – In every man’s life, there comes time for a change.

For Stacy Bertrand, that time came this summer.

Bertrand will leave his post at Midland as the Lady Rebels’ basketball coach, a position he held for the last 20 years, to take over as the boy’s basketball coach at Iota High school.

“This was the toughest decision I have ever had to make,” said Bertrand. “I love the girls and the school (Midland) but this is something I should have done years ago. I want to thank the players and the coaches at Midland. That’s where I got my start. But this is just something I couldn’t pass up. It’s just a perfect fit for me.”

Bertrand will take over the Bulldogs’ program for former coach Troy Harmon, who will remain at the school as an assistant football coach and head powerlifting coach.

“Troy did a great job with the team this year,” said Iota head football coach and athletic director Marcus LeJeune. “In the last four years we’ve had four different coaches. Troy was the only applicant for the job a year ago and he’s ready to move on.

“Stacy almost came over three years ago, but the timing wasn’t right,” said LeJeune. “The opportunity arose this summer and we were able to get him over here. He is a good basketball coach and we are very pleased he decided to take the job. He brings a lot of knowledge and experience and we are looking forward to working with him.”

Bertrand has guided the Lady Rebels to the state playoffs in each of his 20 seasons at Midland and has one state semifinal appearance to his credit as well as numerous district championships.

However, this will be the first time in 21 years that he has coached a boys’ team.

Bertrand says the transition will be an easy one.

“I have coached boys before,” said Bertrand, who coached the Oberlin boys team in 1989. “It’s a little bit faster pace and boys are typically more athletic than girls for the most part but it’s still basketball. The ball is still round.”

Bertrand has already had a team meeting with his new squad and is pleased with what he saw.

“My goal is to know the players and allow them to learn my basketball philosophy,” said Bertrand. “This is supposed to be a rebuilding year for Iota basketball but there is a lot of potential there. The kids are great, they have great attitudes and they work really hard.”

As a player, Bertrand was on the first Midland basketball team to make it to the state finals in 1972. He went on to play two years at Wharton Junior College in Texas where he averaged over 20 points per game before finishing his final two years at Lamar University, averaging 15 points per game.

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