Apr. 8—There are times a big decision for the best also comes with having a heavy heart.
That is exactly how Nick Darling feels, along with his wife Rebecca for their family.
Nick Darling will be resigning as Laramie High girls basketball head coach pending acceptance at next the Albany County School District No. 1 board meeting on April 14.
Darling said his wife will soon graduate from the University of Wyoming's School of Pharmacy, and accepted an employment opportunity at a familiar place for them in Pullman, Washington. They lived there for 11 years, and attended Washington State University, prior to moving to Laramie nearly eight years ago.
"We are excited about the great opportunity, but I'm bummed about leaving the (LHS) girls so soon after one season," Darling said.
Darling was hired to take over the Lady Plainsmen program in May of 2020, his first time as head coach at the prep level.
"LHS will certainly miss Coach Darling and appreciate all he did for the girls' basketball program in the short time he was the head coach," LHS activities director Ron Wagner said in an email. "We wish nothing but the best for Coach Darling and his family and appreciate all he has done for our community."
The Lady Plainsmen were 7-12 overall, 1-5 Southeast Quadrant last season. It was an improvement from a 4-18, 0-6 season in 2019.
The LHS girls had some adversity to overcome last season after losing the inside presence of junior forward/center Morgann Jensen because of injury playing just eight games. Jensen led the Lady Plainsmen with 7.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.6 steals to go with 10.4 points per game.
Senior forward Kayla Vasquez earned second team All-State and first team All-East Conference with 11.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals and a 4A third-best 1.8 blocks. LHS sophomore forward/center Ruby Dorrell rejected a 4A-best 2.0 blocks.
Senior guard Kylee Cox was second team All-Conference by leading the LHS girls with 11.8 points to go with 2.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals.
Senior guard/forward DaiJane Giron, junior guard Janey Adair and freshman guard Addison Forry were honorable mention All-Conference players.
"I absolutely loved (last season)," Darling said. "I've never coached girls before, so I wasn't sure what my level of passion would be coaching girls basketball. But it ended up being one of the best years of my life.
"I had a fantastic time and an amazing staff to work with. The girls had a great work ethic and I just loved teaching basketball, working hard, competing and having fun. It was so much fun coaching last year, and I'm going to miss it for sure."
Darling was also a Plainsmen basketball varsity assistant coach and primarily led the sophomore and junior varsity teams for four seasons prior to joining the Lady Plainsmen. During his time in Laramie, he also coached American Legion baseball, Laramie youth basketball club traveling teams and other youth basketball and football organizations.
And will Darling get back in coaching in the near future?
"It's possible — pretty likely I would say," he pondered. "I haven't talked to any of the schools around there yet. The decision to move happened quickly ... but I will likely be coaching there eventually."
David Watson is the WyoSports assistant editor. He can be reached at email@example.com or 307-755-3327. Follow him on Twitter at @dwatsonsports.