Howard College wasn’t without a head men’s basketball coach for too long.
Scott Raines, who is entering his ninth year as an employee at HC, has been tapped to take over for Mark Adams, who departed after accepting the director of basketball operations position at Texas Tech University.
Raines has spent the past couple of years on the administrative side of things at Howard, but basketball is in his blood. Raines was originally hired as an assistant to Adams and has served in various coaching capacities during his time in Big Spring.
An Oklahoma native, Raines brings a lengthy resume filled with coaching experience to the table. In addition to his years with Adams, he played the sport at the junior college level in Colorado and at the university level at Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts. He was an assistant coach to both the men and women’s basketball programs at the University of Oklahoma, assistant and head coach at Midland College, head coach at a Missouri high school and head coach at Moberly Area Community College.
He briefly took some time off from coaching to serve as director of the Harold Davis Fitness Center, dean of students and district registrar before the opportunity to replace Adams came along.
“Basketball has always been my passion,” Raines said. “I’m very excited. I seem to always be involved in basketball in some form or fashion. I can’t think of a better place to be. Both Kelly (Raines’ wife, who is the head softball coach at Howard) and I love Big Spring. We love Howard College.”
Though enthusiastic, Raines understands the challenge which lies ahead.
“I’m excited, but I’m also very nervous,” he explained. “I’m coming in and I have to fill some pretty big shoes. Howard College was always very competitive in the ‘80s and the ‘90s, but Mark came in and took the program to another level. It’s so hard to get to Hutch (Hutchinson, Kansas, site of the junior college national championship tournament), especially out of this region. He did it three times and won it all once. But I can’t be Coach Adams, I have to be myself. He set the bar extremely high.”
Also joining the new-look Hawks will be two assistant head coaches, Carter Roe and David Lewis, who replace Jase Coburn and Grant McMillan.
“They’ve already helped out so much,” Raines said of his assistants. “They have proven to be valuable assets already.”
Fans can expect the same “in your face” style defense and uptempo offense Adams relied on.
“Mark and I are about 80 percent alike,” Raines said. “We share a lot of the same philosophies about the game. We will play man-to-man defense, we will try to keep the other team uncomfortable and make them work.”
It’s unclear whether or not the Hawks can maintain the success they’ve enjoyed under Adams, but if anyone has a chance to maintain the status quo or improve the program, it may be someone like Raines, who has coached at just about every level this side of the NBA.
“I’m going to do my best and hopefully pick up where Coach Adams left off,” Raines added. “I’m thankful for the the board and Dr. (Cheryl) Sparks for giving me this opportunity.”