Posted: 2:41 pm Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Girls basketball: John I. Leonard hires longtime Lake Worth coach Dan Ross 

By Matt Porter

John I. Leonard replaced one veteran girls basketball coach with another.

After former coach Alan Perry returned to the college ranks, John I. Leonard hired Dan Ross, who spent the last 15 years at Lake Worth but left amid changes in the school’s administration.

Ross, who has a career record of 255-134, coached the Trojans to a district title in 2001 and was named Palm Beach County Athletic Conference coach of the year in 2003. He was the Post’s large schools coach of the year in 2006, when he led Lake Worth to the regional quarterfinals.

After winning just six games in 2005, Ross’ 2006 club started 2-2 before posting 20 wins in a row and finishing 22-4. Ross hopes to achieve similar results with the Lancers, who went 2-13 last year.

“It’s an exciting challenge to try to build a program,” said Ross, who coached the Lake Worth boys for five years and was also an assistant at Palm Beach Atlantic and Palm Beach State. “When I took over at Lake Worth, they had won zero games the year before [1995-96]. It’s something I’ve done before and I’m excited to do again.”

Earlier this summer, Perry was hired as a men’s assistant coach at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. In his career, he has been an assistant at Murray State, Indiana State, Niagara, Jackson State, FAMU, Long Island and Jackson State again, before spending time coaching high school hoops in Mississippi and at John I. Leonard.

“The people treated me very well,” Perry said of his time in Greenacres, calling his latest opportunity “a good professional move.”