By KEITH SPARKS
Liberty Hill ISD has hired Marlo Saunders as an Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach at Liberty Hill High School for the 2017-2018 season. Saunders will join Head Girls’ Basketball Coach Chris Lange and the Lady Panthers as they come off a State Championship appearance and a 36-3 overall record.
All but four players from last year’s team will be returning, leading to high expectations for the 2017-2018 season.
“A lot of success,” Saunders said of what he knows about the girls, so far. “Coach Lange has a stellar program that’s had a lot of success over a six or seven year period. Just last year, they were able to make it all the way to the State Championship game. They have a lot of talent on this team, currently, this senior-led team, so I’m just excited to be a part of it and definitely help Coach Lange push it to that next level.”
Saunders, who was raised in Killeen, played collegiate basketball at Texas Lutheran before transferring to the University of Texas at Permian Basin, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Coaching in the spring of 2006. He recently earned his Master of Sports Leadership from Concordia University Chicago, as well.
While attending UTPB, Saunders was named first-team all-conference and broke the record for most points scored in school history. After graduating from UTPB, Saunders went on to play professionally in England, Germany, Spain, and China. Upon his return to the United States, Saunders spent time in the American Basketball Association and the NBA Developmental League.
Prior to arriving at Liberty Hill, Saunders was the Head Girls’ Basketball Coach at Bay City High School. He also spent time as the Head Coach for the Texas Elite – Central Texas girls’ select basketball team.
Saunders and his wife had been eyeing a move back to Central Texas for some time. When his wife found an opportunity to work in the real estate industry in Austin, Saunders began looking at coaching jobs nearby, and was quickly drawn to Liberty Hill based in large part on its tradition of athletic success across the board.
Although he hasn’t yet been able to witness the growth of Liberty Hill firsthand, Saunders is aware of the changes taking place.
“Liberty Hill is growing rapidly, and the school just continues to grow as the area continues to grow,” Saunders said, “so I’m excited to learn more about Liberty Hill, and I’m looking forward to the growth and the opportunities that lie ahead, not only in the community but athletically. I know it’s a very rich tradition of winning, and I’m excited to bring my family into that atmosphere.”
In addition to coaching girls’ basketball, Saunders will also coach track and field and teach world history at Liberty Hill High School.