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Liberty basketball: Bubon to take over Leopards

Published: Tue, July 26, 2011 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Nick Shook



Following the departure of Marlon McGaughy, the Liberty Leopards were a team without a coach for the 2011-12 season.

The job was officially filled on Monday when the school’s Board of Education approved former Champion coach Dan Bubon.

A Warren Harding graduate and former assistant, Bubon compiled a record of 60-115 in eight years at Champion, where he resigned following a 2-19 season in 2010-11. Bubon spent less than a year on the sidelines before finding another job.

“It’s a great job,” Bubon said of the Liberty position. “It’s a job that I’ve always been very interested in. When I heard theirs opened up, I talked to the people over there and they said it was a good fit … they were looking for someone that could bring a coaching staff in, which I’m able to do.”

Bubon will bring along his two assistants from Champion, Joe Christopher and Todd Beurch. He expects to speed up the tempo of Liberty’s play on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

“Coaching against them over the years, I always felt that they would play a more up-tempo style,” Bubon said. “The last few years at Champion, we had to slow down on offense and play a lot of zone, which I don’t like to do, but now we’ve got the personnel to push the ball. I’d love to push the ball.”

Bubon’s late hiring may have put his team at somewhat of a disadvantage, with summer play and open gyms having reached their conclusion. He has also had a limited amount of time to get familiar with his players.

“[I] had a chance to meet some of them,” Bubon said. “It’s tough when you get hired this late, pretty much all of the summer stuff is done. I got to meet about 14 or 15 of the kids, but a lot of them play football, so there isn’t going to be much we can do right now until school gets started. We might start out a little behind, but we’ll be OK.”

Liberty lost a good portion of their experienced players with the graduation of the class of 2011, but Bubon expects one returning player to make a major impact on the team’s 2011-12 season. Jalen Mann, a 6-foot-3 senior, will be expected to lead the Leopards both on and off the court.

“He’s really good,” Bubon said. “He averaged probably 15 points or more last year and he’s long, athletic, and I think this will be a really big year for him … He’s the one everyone worried about when playing against Liberty.”

With Bubon’s arrival, changes will surely be made within the program. But for a team that lost by only a point in the first round of the tournament, the amount of necessary adjustments may be minimal.

“Looking from the outside, you don’t know everything that goes on there, so I dont know that there was a whole lot broken,” Bubon said. “You always want to get better faster … hopefully they can adapt to our style of play.”


1jmoney(6 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

It's a shame what they did to Marlon, just firing him on the spot by the new principal!! Then go figure, she's from Warren Harding and Bubon teaches at Harding but coached at Champion, HHMMM, now I know how Bubon got the job! Not to mention, how is Bubon a "good fit", he went 60-115 and 2-19 this past year, yeh, REALLY "good fit"! Plus, if Bubon wasn't already guaranteed the job, why wasn't it ever posted? It's not how good you are as a coach anymore it's how good you know the boss!

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2bullman(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm curious, where does the paper get their information from? The depature of Coach McGaughy??? You mean after the new principal fired Coach McGaughy, did she bring in her friend to take Coach Marlon's position. Coach Marlon went to introduce himself to this new principal and at that meeting she fired him stating she wanted to bring her "own people" in...and to add insult to injury she proceeded to try and discredit him as a coach. So, in order to try and justify her action of getting rid of a coach who truely cares about his boys, their grades, their success on and off the court, to bring in one of 'HER OWN' tries to tarnish his success as a coach. Stating he is not qualifed to coach these boys and how he ran a very loose ship... How can a person who has worked for Children Services for 20+yrs not be qualified to teach these young men? It's never been about the wins and losses to Coach Marlon, it was about each kid growing into successful young men. I wonder did she really look into Coach Marlon's program or talk to anyone he has ever coached? Did she know that in his first year at Liberty he cut his best players, seniors at that, because they were cancers to the rest of the team? Is she aware they boys came to him and looked at him like a 2nd father and in some cases their 1st father? Or is she aware he saved one of those boys from the streets, because of Coach marlon this young man stopped doing the things he was doing that was going to end himself up in a grave or jail? Does anyone care that he has made a difference in these boys' lives? Evidentally not. Looks as if the adults in the situation are only concerned about themselves and their friends not the kids involved. It is sad for a coach like McGaughy to be treated so poorly when he is actually one of a handful of coaches/teachers that really care about their students/athletes. Coach Marlon led Kennedy Catholic to the state championship every year there and because he didnt play who the 'boosters' wanted him to play they fire him. I wonder, are people aware he still speaks with those boys from Kennedy and even attended their college games? How many coaches/teachers can say the same... I have been around sports my whole life and I have only seen a handful of people/coaches/teachers like Coach Marlon. Not only did the people at Kennedy allow the refs to call him N*gger and boy, but to fire him because he played the best players not whose parents paid the most money to the school. After the paper coming to him time and time again to find out the real story as to what happen, coach Marlon took the high road every time. It's an extreme shame for a man that has a love of coaching, because of relationships he has built with all of these young men, lose his position because a person wants to bring in "one of her own"

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3bullman(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

If you want to speak of wins and lose records... Coach Marlon in 3 yrs had a record of 54-14 at Kennedy. Having to come in and try to rebuild a program in two years, he did a pretty good job. In his first year he was 3-17 and last year improved to 11-10...but I am willing to bet is you look at how many of those young men he coached have gone on to college the numbers will surpass his win/lose record.
Last year at a Thiel game Coach Marlon was talking to his boys from Kennedy after the game and a gentleman was heard asking who Coach was...once they said he coached these boys at Kennedy the gentleman said I have to thank him for those boys...
He said those boys were great men as well as great basketball players and they(those players) gave a lot of credit to Coach marlon. I think that says a lot about Coach Marlon.

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4jmoney(6 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

bullman, u summed up everything that needs to be said!!!! The Liberty program has just been set back by at least 5 years! Coach Bubon is a good person don't get me wrong, but far from being the "best fit" for the program! I hope Marlon coaches another team that Liberty plays and pumps them bad and then looks at that new principal and smiles and winks! But Marlon is a MAN of character and for him to do something like that to whatever of HIS Liberty players will still be there, which will not be many, would be below him!! So coach Marlon, good luck to you in whatever coaching position you will get in the future!

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5bullman(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Jmoney, you are so right about Coach Marlon, he will do the right thing, because he is a man of character. It's just unfortunate that we struggle today in society with our youth and trying to raise them properly, then you have a person who is to help mold our kids into well rounded human beings, showing them it's all in who you know, not about the time and work put in to become successful. Bubon's excuse is he didnt have the team at Champion as he has always wanted, but a good coach becomes successful with the student athletes he is given, as Coach Marlon proved at Liberty. It's about bringing the best out of every young person you coach/mentor.

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6bullman(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Congrats on the new position Coach McGaughy!

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