Former Warren Central girls’ basketball coach Vanous Lloyd was a memorable character on and off the court – known as much for his loud, booming laugh as his success with the Lady Dragons’ program.

But friends, former players and colleagues remember Lloyd, who passed away at age 72 on Thursday, for much more. They remember Lloyd as a friend and a mentor who brightened any room with his presence.

“He was just a larger than life figure,” Melinda Carlson Logic said. “He loved me. I feel like, because we spent so many years together and I was so young when he first met me, we had a very special connection. There is not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe what he means to me.

“He was larger than life. He was a motivator. He was so fun, but don’t get me wrong he would push you. He pushed me a lot. He cultivated my love for education, for basketball.”

An inaugural member of Warren Central’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, Lloyd was the first Lady Dragons basketball coach – winning 327 games in 20 seasons. Lloyd guided the Lady Dragons to the school’s only girls’ basketball state championship in 1983. That team was voted into Warren Central’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

Logic, who played varsity for five years under Lloyd and was a senior on that state championship team, said he had the right personality to lead that team to the pinnacle.

“The thing about it was, we were a family,” Logic said. “But families don’t always like each other. It’s hard when you have that many girls together. Coach Lloyd had to intervene and babysit a lot because we would fuss and bicker.

“When we stepped on that floor we always put aside any differences that we had and we were willing to do anything to win. That’s what coach Lloyd instilled in us.”

Logic still gets emotional when talking about winning that state title.

“To celebrate with coach Lloyd after that game – I went to two Final Fours back-to-back in college, went overseas and played ball, and had lots of wonderful things, married and have two children – nothing in my life compares to that moment when we won the state championship,” Logic said. “As a kid you are always like, ‘I can’t wait to get out of high school.’ But when that buzzer went off and it’s over and you realized that we had achieved something so awesome, it’s like you just get swallowed up.”

Todd Steward, who took over as girls’ basketball coach when Lloyd stepped down before the 1994-95 season, said he remained a mentor even when he stepped away from coaching.

“When he decided to step down and I was asked to take that he gave me so much great advice – not really basketball, but working with kids,” Steward said. “He didn’t really have to tell me a lot because you could just watch coach Lloyd. (He) was the same whether they won or lost or if he was having a tough day at school. I never really saw coach Lloyd in a bad mood. Even when he had the right to be upset he wasn’t. He just made everybody around him feel better.”

Todd Tolbert was an assistant under Lloyd for three years before going to Greenwood to be the school’s first girls’ basketball coach. He said Lloyd was competitive, but well-respected.

“The biggest thing I remember about being coach Lloyd’s assistant was that every day was an adventure when you went to practice,” Tolbert said. “Usually it involved something being funny or something being fun. As far as basketball knowledge, he was a very successful coach. ... But being one of his assistants, I had a blast all three years I was there.

“He made practice fun. He made games fun. We were good enough that we had success while having fun at the same time.”

In addition to coaching girls’ basketball, Lloyd was the Warren Central baseball coach – a sport he played at Western Kentucky. He also worked for more than 20 years as an analyst with Scott Thompson, helping during regional broadcasts and the Girls’ Sweet Sixteen.

“He was a special man,” Thompson said. “He was so outgoing. He could brighten a moment just like that. He made a broadcast so much fun. He knew the game so well. He knew the other coaches. He coached against them and he could bring so much to a broadcast because he could relay so many stories ... so many fun memories to share.

“I never met a person who had a harsh word to say against him unless he had just beaten them – and then a few minutes later you would see them in the corner having a big laugh together. Vanous was just one of those infectious guys you are around and within two minutes he’s probably got you laughing about something.”{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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