Shannan Lane is back on the bench at Pueblo South High School, only this time she'll be guiding the boys.
South athletic director Jarrett Sweckard confirmed to CHSAANow.com Wednesday afternoon that he hired Lane as the Colts' boys basketball coach one year after she stepped down from the same position with the girls program.
When Lane initially resigned following the Colts' loss to Mullen in the 2019 Class 4A state championship game, she still had interest in coaching the boys program should the opportunity arise.
"Life takes its twist and turns," Lane said. "Sometimes you ask why or how did I get here. I don't how I got here in the boys realm, but God gave me two boys, He did not give me two girls. I think if I had two daughters, I would still be coaching the girls."
Gabriel Zeigler had been the boys coach for the previous two seasons. He took over for DJ Johnson who stepped away after the 2017-18 campaign where he took the South boys to the 4A FInal 4.
Lane's coaching background gave Sweckard little reason to elsewhere to fill the position. He witnessed her conduct on a day-to-day basis when she guided the girls team to three consecutive 4A title games from 2017-19.
She amassed a 241-52 overall record with the Colts girls, which included a state championship in 2013, the fifth in program history. She led the Colts to five outright league championships while winning a share of the league title on four other occasions.
"Everyone in the state knows that she's a very qualified basketball coach," Sweckard said. "She does a great job preparing teams to go into games and take those teams to state-level play whether it be the Final 4 or the state championship game."
The South boys have struggled in the last two seasons but won the South-Central title in 2018 and advanced to the 4A Final 4 where they lost to eventual state champion Longmont. Among the several appealing challenges for Lane is getting them back to that level of play.
"The boys have always been a high level," she said. "They had a lot of great years and they've always been strong. You go through your classes and that 2017-18 class, their top six were all seniors. Gabe took over a program a year after it went to the Final 4 and lost all its starters. He did a great job, hats off to him. He was real young last year too and they're going to be young next year."
According to Austin White of the Pueblo Chieftain, Lane will be the first female to lead a boys basketball program in Pueblo history.
— Austin J. White (@ajw_sports) May 6, 2020
Lane praised Sweckard and South for having the courage to make a bold, unorthodox move.
"They're doing something special," Lane said.
But that was not the motivation behind Sweckard's decision. He simply identified her as the best candidate for the job and is excited to see her back on the bench coaching basketball.
"When we were looking for qualified coaches, her name came up right away," Sweckard said. "I knew in the state there weren't many (female coaches of boys teams) but I think it's going to be an awesome thing for her. It's a new chapter in her life and she's taking over a different program and she's going to do a great job."