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New Lanier head girls basketball coach Jose Cardy, right, with his family.

Lanier stuck with a familiar face in the community when hiring its new head girls basketball coach.

The Longhorns promoted assistant Jose Cardy this week to lead the program as a replacement for outgoing coach Tim Slater, who was hired at Grayson. Cardy worked with Lanier’s girls program during the 2020-21 season after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant with the boys program at the Sugar Hill school.

“(The players) were very excited (about getting a head coach they know),” Cardy said. “The whole community, even the coaches would come to my room to tell me, ‘We’re pulling for you (to get the job).’ The outpouring of support has been very positive. Before I even decided to interview for this job, I asked (the players) if they would like me to be their coach and all of them said yes. So I said, ‘We’ll go ahead and interview for it.’ … I’m just appreciative of (principal) Dr. (Christopher) Martin and (athletic director) Matt McDonald for giving me this opportunity to continue to be a coach here.”

Prior to his current stay at Lanier, Cardy coached girls basketball for six years at Brookwood. He left for Lanier to work with the boys basketball program, which he helped to a state runner-up finish in 2020, then transitioned back to girls coaching last season.

The native of the Dominican Republic, who grew up in The Bronx in New York City, said he has enjoyed the girls basketball players’ willingness to learn, one of the reasons he is excited about his new job. He also is happy to remain in the community where his 12-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son attend school, in addition to competing in youth sports for the Lanier Athletic Association.

“I’m excited about the Lanier community,” Cardy said. “The Lanier community is one of a kind. All the coaches here are very friendly, very helpful, very encouraging. The community here is very involved and I look forward to working with them.”

Cardy inherits a Lanier program that won the state title in 2019 and also made the state playoffs the past two seasons. His top returning players include Karina Lopez, Riley Bryan and Gamyzhae Williams.

“We are very fortunate to find our new head coach from within our building with Jose Cardy,” McDonald said. “He is a man of character and truly cares about our girls, school and community. We feel Coach Cardy’s experience and passion will continue to develop our ladies on and off the court, building on the success our program has experienced in recent years.”

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