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Newport Central Catholic names Jake Luhn as new head coach of boys basketball program

Jake Luhn, a former college basketball assistant coach, is the new head coach of the Newport Central Catholic boys basketball program.

NewCath principal Kenny Collopy announced the new hire Thursday.

“We are confident in Coach Luhn’s vision for our basketball program and its alignment with who we are as a community,” Collopy said in a press release. “His energy, background, and experience will be a great resource in helping our student-athletes improve on and off the court.”

Jake Luhn (Photo from NCC)

Luhn, who lives in Cold Spring with his wife and three children, spent the last three seasons on college coaching staffs with NewCath graduate John Brannen.

Luhn was the Director of Basketball Operations at Northern Kentucky University in Brannen’s last season as head coach of the Norse in 2018-19. Brannen then became head coach at the University of Cincinnati for two years and Luhn served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Bearcats.

Last April, Brannen was fired as Cincinnati’s head coach. He has filed a law suit against the university claiming he was wrongfully dismissed.

Luhn began his college coaching career at St. Bonaventure University in New York and spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Longwood University in Virginia. In between those jobs, he was an assistant coach at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Florida while he managed his family’s business.

“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to join the NewCath basketball program,” Luhn said in the press release. “I’m thankful for Principal Collopy and Athletic Director Jeff Schulkens for bringing me into the Thoroughbred family. I am anxious to immediately get to work with our current Breds & continuing the tradition-rich history on ‘The Hill.’”

“We are excited to welcome Coach Luhn to the Newport Central Catholic family,” said Schulkens. “He brings experience from the collegiate level, and we look forward to him building on the excellent tradition we have here.”

Luhn was hired to replace Ron Dawn, who posted a 340-164 record in 18 seasons as NewCath boys basketball coach. His teams won four Kentucky All “A” Classic state championships and two 9th Region post-season tournament titles.

The last team Dawn took to the “Sweet 16” boys state tournament in 2016 made it to the semifinals and finished with a 30-5 record. Last season, the Thoroughbreds posted a 9-10 record amid delays and cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The top three scorers on last year’s team were juniors. One of them is Joel Iles, who averaged 19.3 points and 4.6 rebounds.

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