By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

Charles Lyons has been coaching youth sports for more than 41 years, and continues to coach with the spirit of service as a major driving force in his life.

This year he branched out to begin his own youth basketball program with his wife, Dorothy.

Lyons' coaching career began in 1968 when he was a teenager in Gary, Ind. Several teenagers from different neighborhoods formed basketball teams and played against each other.

"All we did was play basketball and stickball," he said. "There were a lot of kids but no organization."

After graduating from high school, Lyons joined the Army and kept coaching.

"The real reason I kept going was probably because of the kids," he said. "They always need coaches for youth sports.

"And with kids, you not only want to afford your kids, but other kids, with opportunity," Lyons added.

A 20-year Army retiree and Cove resident, on and off since 1985 due to the military, Lyons' involvement with the city's Parks and Recreation department youth sports coaching program began when he first came to the city.

Lyons, his wife and two of his daughters coached teams through the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

The Starzz Basketball program, which was jump-started by Lyons and his wife this year, provides summer basketball opportunities for children in the community between 9 and 18 years old. The program begins in March and wraps up in August.

Lyons said the program began with four teams and 40 children.

Children in the program develop and fine-tune their basketball skills. Lyons hopes to double the number of teams to eight for next year's season.

Contact Alicia Lacy at or (254) 501-7476.

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