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Bearcats basketball looks to Bond

Former Dunkin ’Dog moves from Weston to Ruston’s boys hoops team
Sunday, April 7, 2019
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Leader photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT

Ryan Bond talks to the Ruston High School boys basketball team Friday afternoon after being announced as new head coach of the Bearcats.

Looking to turn around a boys basketball program that has struggled in recent years, Ruston High School on Friday afternoon tabbed Weston High School head coach Ryan Bond to take charge of the Bearcats.

Bond was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year for Class B after leading his team to a 33-8 record and the state semifinals.

“We reviewed a number of coaches, and it seemed the name that just kept coming up was Ryan Bond,” RHS principal Friday afternoon announced that Bond had taken over the Bearcats’ program. “We feel we have the best man for the job and that he’s the one to turn this program around in the right direction.”

Bond, a native of Weston, admitted it was a tough decision.

“That’s my home, so of course it was hard,” Bond said. “But I feel good about the decision and more importantly, my family feels good about it. We’re all in on this.”

The 40-year-old Bond said he would need to evaluate the Bearcats before deciding what kind of system to run.

“I’ve coached smaller teams where we’ve just pushed the ball up and down the court, and I’ve coached bigger teams where we’ve slowed things down,” he said. “It will all be based on the kind of talent we have.”

Bond was a 1992 graduate of Weston High School, where he was a four-year letterman in basketball. He was selected All-District three years and All-State two years, averaging 26 points and 14 rebounds a game in his senior year before moving on to play at Louisiana Tech.

Current Cedar Creek girls head coach Gene Vandenlangenberg was Bond’s head coach at Weston.

“It’s rewarding on all levels to see a guy I first coached when I think I was 24 and he was 14,” Vandenlangenberg said. “We’ve stayed close and kept in touch, and I’ve followed him throughout his career. I consider him part of my family. I know he’s very excited to get this job.”

Bond lettered four years at Tech, amassing 1,014 points and hauling in 553 rebounds. He was selected on the 30-player All-Time Tech Team out of a pool of over 500 players.

He played professionally for 10 years with seven different teams and was selected on the All-Star Team. He played for Kosovo, Croatia, Finland and Germany in the European Leagues.