BOYS BASKETBALL: History on the rise: Original Titan Lewis promoted to head coach

Alden Lewis has been a part of history-making moments at Port Arthur Memorial since the school was established in 2002.

He was part of the school’s first senior class, having played basketball under David Green. He was the first varsity assistant when the Titans brought the school its first state championship in March.

Now, Lewis is the first Memorial alumnus to become the school’s boys basketball head coach.

“That’s what makes it so, so special,” Lewis said Thursday evening, minutes after the Port Arthur ISD board approved by a 7-0 vote his hire. “Being able to graduate from Port Arthur Memorial, being [in] the first class and an alumni, being a citizen born and raised, that makes it very, very special to be the new head coach at Port Arthur Memorial. Especially taking over a successful program coming off a state championship, it doesn’t get better than this …”

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Lewis, 33, replaces Kenneth Coleman, who accepted the same position at Humble Summer Creek.

Lewis completed his eighth year as a coach in the PAISD and was the top assistant under Coleman for the past three seasons, working closely with guards. He began his career as Memorial’s head freshman coach.

One of his Memorial classmates, Antonio Cooper, is the junior varsity head coach.

Coleman wanted someone who had a history with Port Arthur as an assistant when he took the job in August 2015.

“He’s a direct descendent of me,” Coleman said of Lewis. “That’s big to keep it in the house like that. He did an extremely good job as a first assistant.”

Lewis was hired the same day the Beaumont ISD announced Green as the first head coach at Beaumont United High School, which will begin classes in August. Green had been head coach the past seven years at North Shore, where Coleman was an assistant before taking the Memorial position.

A list of candidates for the Memorial vacancy was not publicly released, but Lewis worked on a staff that had head coaching experience in former Ozen leader Marquis Saveat.

Coleman said Lewis was already doing head-coaching duties to prepare himself for this opportunity.

“He’s a hard worker,” Coleman said. “He’s done the day-to-day work in a program that’s won a state championship like coach Green [allowed] me. He’s done everything a head coach needs to know.”

Lewis said he learned about preparation from playing under Henderson at Lincoln High, which merged with Thomas Jefferson and Stephen F. Austin to form Memorial.

“Whether it’s scouting reports, whether it’s preparing for a game, he’s one of the best to do it in my opinion,” Lewis said. “Coach Green, he gave me a lot and lot of wisdom, very much wisdom off the court and on the court. He’s a very special guy. I’ve been knowing him for a long time, and he’s going to be my mentor, along with coach Coleman.

“Same thing with coach Coleman. I learned a lot from these last three years. We were able to do something very special that will always be a part of me and him, and nobody can take that away. … All of them are father figures in my life, and I just continue to hopefully learn from all of them.”

While Memorial and United look to establish a new Port Arthur-Beaumont rivalry, Coleman doesn’t intend for Summer Creek — which Memorial beat in the season opener — to start one with the Titans. He just wants to be available if Lewis ever calls on him for anything.

“God gave me a great opportunity to build a program and help guys get to the next level,” Coleman said. “It doesn’t benefit me at all to play Memorial, let alone beat them. That’s like tearing down something I built up.”

The Port Arthur ISD also announced Thursday that Mark Porterie was named the Region V Superintendent of the Year and approved a sealed proposal for repairs to the Memorial practice field.

“Just re-doing the field completely,” head coach and athletic director Brian Morgan, who was promoted from assistant coach two months ago, said in an email. “Lots of wear and tear on it, and sprinkler system not in shape to keep up with how much it is used year round.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

 

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