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Mike Morton has been promoted to boys' basketball head coach at Lookout Valley High School. Morton, a 1991 Lookout Valley graduate, worked as a Yellow Jackets assistant for the past eight seasons.

"It's exciting to get to be a part of something that I love — not just the sport but the community," Morton said. "To be in the position to take more ownership and help the kids grow into fine young men — that's the ultimate goal, besides just winning games.

"I owe so much to Coach (Joe) Galloway and folks from this school and this community who influenced my life, and it feels great to have the chance to give back to a place that I love."

Morton takes over for Eric Ford, who had been the Yellow Jackets coach the past five seasons. Ford and Morton helped turn around a program that had struggled, going from a five-win team to 16 wins. Lookout Valley reached the region tournament each of the last two seasons, winning a combined 35 games.

"Mike played here, he grew up here and knows the history of our program," Lookout Valley athletic director David Dinger said. "He knows the kids and has a good relationship with them. It was a good fit for us, and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do with the program."

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.

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