MURRAY - Saying that he wanted to be a part of Murray High's "tradition of academic and athletic excellence," Bart Flener stepped to the podium Friday afternoon after he was announced as the new boys basketball coach.
"I'm just so glad to be a part of that and to join the family," said Flener, who took over the Tigers' job after spending the past six years as the head women's coach at Asbury University in Wilmore and the assistant principal at Jessamine Career and Technology Center.
Flener will also become the assistant superintendent in charge of student services for Murray schools.
Flener, who was named the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year last season and after the 2011-2012 season, leaves Asbury University with the most wins in school history (110) and guided the Eagles to three straight runner-up spots in the KIAC Tournament.
"Experience is the great teacher and I've had a great opportunity at Asbury University," Flener said. "But I just like working with people. I think it's a strength of mine."
Flener has also been a women's assistant coach at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Ga. (1990-92) and the head boys coach at Eminence (Ky.) High School (1992-95), at Glasgow (Ky.) High School (1995-2002), for two years at Lexington Catholic and ended his high school coaching career at West Jessamine from 2004-2006, where his teams won 41 games and captured two district titles.
He left coaching in 2006 to become the interim principal at West Jessamine. Flener returned to the bench in 2007-08 as a volunteer assistant coach for the men's program at Asbury. He finished the 2007-08 season as the interim coach for the women's basketball program at Asbury and then became the head coach.
At Glasgow, Flener went 137-65 â “ winning five straight district titles from 1998 to 2002 â “ and also won the 2001 All "A" Classic Boys State Basketball Tournament championship and the Fourth Region All "A" titles in 2001 and 2002.
Flener also coached Kentucky's 2002 Mr. Basketball, Brandon Stockton, at Glasgow.
At Murray, Flener will eventually get to coach his sons, Zachary, 12, and Avery, 7.
"Part of me wanting to come back and coach boys basketball is in my early years my oldest son was on the sidelines with me," Flener said.
"When I left coaching high school basketball in 2006 he was in third grade, and at the time you think it might be fun to coach your son. So when the opportunity came up at Asbury I missed some of his games and didn't like that as much.
"So when this opportunity presented itself here I asked him if he wanted me to join the high school ranks again with the possibility of being his coach, and he said he would."
Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow on Twitter @psunsports.