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PNG names new girls basketball coach after Kara Skinner steps down

Lance Robertson, head girls basketball coach at Bridge City, has accepted the same position at Port Neches-Groves after Kara Skinner stepped down recently for personal reasons.

Robertson, a three-sport athlete who graduated from PNG in 1991, takes over a program that made its first-ever appearances in the UIL playoffs the previous two seasons under Skinner.

“I’m very excited to get back over here, especially getting to work under Coach (Barbara) Comeaux on the girls side and Coach (Brandon) Faircloth on the boys side, with all the knowledge they’re going to be able to provide,” Robertson said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity to come here.”

Skinner declined to elaborate more on the reasons for her departure and will be moving to the Dallas area.

Skinner lead the Indians to their first run in the playoffs during the 2018-19 season with a 23-13 record, a third-place finish in District 21-5A. The Indians improved to second in 2019-20 with a 24-12 record and their second-ever bout in the playoffs. PNG lost to Galveston Ball in both bi-district rounds.

Comeaux, the girls athletic coordinator and former volleyball coach, said that PNG had been spending the last two weeks looking for someone to succeed Skinner.

“Robertson’s done some good things and I think he’ll be ready to step in, take over where we left off and continue to build this program,” Comeaux said. “We’re excited to have him here.”

Robertson said while leaving Bridge City wasn’t an easy decision to make, getting the chance to coach at PNG is a matter of coming home.

“I still live in the Groves area, and I have a daughter that attends Groves Middle School,” Robertson said. “She’s going to eighth grade, so it’s an opportunity to be with my daughter for another possible five years.

“I loved Bridge City. Coach Allen DeShazo was an excellent athletic director over there. It’s never easy to leave any school, especially when you have such a good relationship with them, but the biggest aspect is PNG is my alma mater and my daughter’s going to be attending here.”

As of Tuesday, Robertson has met with his team four times so far for summer workouts. He’s looking forward to being part of the tradition, honor and pride of PNG.

“I have met the girls,” he said. “It looks like a good group of returning players that are coming up.”

Comeaux said PNG was searching for a coach that would bring experience and success, and she expects Robertson to meet the standard.

“He’s very personable,” she said. “I definitely believe the kids will enjoy being coached by him. He did a great job at Bridge City. He’s bringing that experience that’s sometimes hard to find.”

Robertson will also work with one familiar face. Assistant coach Jessi Farmer worked under Robertson during the 2018-19 season at Bridge City.

“She was with me at Bridge City two years ago,” Robertson said. “When she was with me in Bridge City we made the playoffs, and I get to reunite with her. That was another big reason for coming here.”