By Angel Verdejo

The Cove Herald

Five years ago, Teresa Durham lifted a Class 3A state championship trophy at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

She led China Spring to the title, as the Lady Cougars won 34 games during the 2005-06 season and beat Abilene Wylie 57-54 for the championship.

Starting Tuesday, she'll be in charge of getting the Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs back into the playoffs.

Durham was approved Tuesday to be the next Cove girls head basketball coach by the school board. One of three finalists - one withdrew - Durham was determined to be the best fit.

"We felt like after we interviewed her ... that she had the necessary ingredients to be our next head basketball coach," Cove athletic director Jack Welch said. "She has good experience, she's had good success, she's proven herself as a head coach and as an administrator, and she's the right one for the job."

Durham has coached for more than 20 years, with stops at Klein, Brady, Dalhart, Joshua, Kennedale, and Overland Park (Kan.).

At China Spring, she led the Lady Cougars to the playoffs seven times. They reached the 2005 regional quarterfinals before winning it all the next season. Durham retired from China Spring in 2010 and the former president of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (2009-10).

"She was just very impressive," Welch said. "Her energy - she has a lot of energy and you can also tell that she's been there, done that.

"It's obvious in her answers in how to build a program and how to sustain a program. The things that it takes, the amount of work and how to operate a staff.

"She's very highly thought of in the girls basketball ranks. Her recommendations were impeccable."

She takes over a Lady Dawg program that finished tied for fifth in District 12-5A, missing the postseason for the first time since 2006.

Cove had made the playoffs four straight years, including a 12-5A title in 2009.

After the 2009 season, head coach Richard Herbst left for the same job at San Antonio Clark.

Preston Flaniken, an assistant under Herbst, was promoted to head coach for the 2010-11 season.

After the season, the school district reported allegations against Flaniken for an improper relationship with a student. He was placed on administrative leave and resigned from the district on April 6.

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