There was a notable absence on the Lady Pioneer bench before the first ball went into the air Tuesday night.
Assistant coach Mendy Stotts was not with the team for its opening game, which Warren County lost 56-41 on the road at Community. It will be a permanent absence as Stotts will no longer be a part of the program.
Though Stotts and Lady Pioneer coach Anthony Lippe would not comment on her status, Director of Schools Bobby Cox confirmed Thursday morning Stotts is no longer with the team. Lippe offered only a brief statement about the status of the program.
“We’re trying to get everybody on the same page. We want to move forward and do what’s best for the program to be successful,” said Lippe, who is in his first year as head coach after serving as an assistant at WCHS for six seasons.
When asked if there were issues between Lippe and Stotts, who applied for the head coaching job and was under consideration for the position before Lippe was ultimately named coach in April, Lippe declined to comment.
Stotts was inducted into the Martin Methodist College Hall of Fame last February. She was a 1,000-point scorer in college and was voted the school’s female athlete of the year in 1999. Stotts is also well known for running the Shoot for Heaven basketball camp each summer at Westwood Church of Christ.
Stotts declined to comment on the situation.
A 3-point Booster Club banner, which was on the walls at Charlie Dalton Gym, listing Mendy and Joseph Stotts as donors was removed this week. Booster club officials offered no comment on the situation.
Still assisting Lippe on the bench are Brent Warren, Megan Ferrell and Jim Carden.