COVINGTON — The tour of the north shore continues for basketball coach Stephen Lopinto.
Lopinto was named the head coach of the Covington boys basketball program — his third different team in the past three seasons.
“Some people associated with the school asked me if I would be interested in the job,” he said. “I expressed interest and applied. About a week ago I got the call about interviewing for the job, and last Wednesday I was offered the position. Everything happened really fast.”
Lopinto comes to Covington after a one-year stint as the girls basketball coach at Lakeshore High School, where he finished with a 15-16 overall record. Before his stint at Lakeshore, Lopinto was the girls coach at Fontainebleau High School.
“I was at Fontainebleau for 10 years, and then of course made the move (to Lakeshore),” he said. “I just wanted to try and bring some stability to that program, but I always would have liked to get back into the boys game.
“This was an opportunity to do that, coupled with the fact I will be at a school closer to home.”
Known for the past decade as a girls basketball coach, the Covington job will not be Lopinto’s first venture into coaching boys basketball.
“I was an assistant coach for three years and then the head coach at Maurepas High School for a season,” he said. “Then I got into the girls game. Obviously the speed of the game and the athleticism of the kids will be different in the boys game. The girls are probably better fundamentally than the boys, but you still have to work.
“Attitudes are similar. If you show a kid you are there to care for them and want to be there for them, they are going to come in, work hard and do what you need to do to be successful.”
Lopinto replaces Mike Smith, who left the program to become a parish-wide assistant principal.
“The program may have not had the kind of success it wanted the last couple of years,” Lopinto said. “But I don’t look at this as any sort of rebuilding job. Coach Smith did a good job, and people forget not too long ago they made it to the state quarterfinals. I know he has left me with some good young talent to build upon and will get better.”