By Keenan A. Mount
In February, during the middle of the season, Lewis and Clark Community College Head Basketball Coach Kavon Lacey was fired.
This decision spurred discourse in L&C’s surrounding communities. Danny Holiday, retired pastor and involved Alton community member, read a letter penned by Attorney Luthor Simmons, another engaged community member, aloud during the public comment section of L&C’s Board of Trustess meeting February 14.
The letter expressed a “public outrage” with Lacey’s firing, whom the letter described as an “Alton Icon.”
The controversial decision came from the college’s newly appointed Athletics Director Cedric Brown.
“Evaluating the program, I felt it was time to make a move,” Brown was quoted as saying in local media outlets. He was never recorded citing a specific incident that motivated the decision.
Lacey was reinstated as of February 24 and will serve as interim head coach throughout 2023-2024, at which point he will be eligible to apply for the permanent position.
“Dr. Brown is aiming to develop and grow Lewis and Clark athletics into a national powerhouse across all athletic programs and in the classroom,” College President Ken Trzaska said. “I fully support Dr. Brown’s vision for the Lewis and Clark athletics program, and our decision to reinstate Coach Lacey reflects our culture of support and advancement of our college and our team members.”
The college aims to aid Lacey in reacclimating to his role as head coach through additional support and by providing a clear outline in his division of time amongst his duties regarding athletics and his duties in the Adult Education Department.
Lacey has been with L&C since 2018 when he was hired on as an assistant coach. He has had a storied career in basketball prior to that hiring.
At a local level, Lacey is renowned as the Alton High School all-time career scoring leader. He also served as an assistant coach at University of Evansville prior to coming to Lewis and Clark.