Luper named Varnado girls basketball coach

Published 11:36 am Thursday, June 21, 2018

Varnado has named Aaron Luper as its girls head basketball coach.
“I’m super excited. I’m very excited about it,” Luper said. “We’ve got some phenomenal athletes. Whenever I was first approached about the job, I knew these girls could go somewhere because they’re fast, they’re tall — we’ve got three girls that are 6 feet tall.”
Luper said their first objective, their first goal, is to take care of things from the inside, out.
“Take care of ourselves and then we want to be parish champions and then we want to be district champions and then we want to be state champions,” Luper said. “Our main goal is getting out of the first round of the playoffs this year. We won seven games in the last two years, so we’ve got to change the culture a little bit and change it to winning.
“We’re already starting that. My assistant coach (Brett) Cooper and I, we’ve ordered new jerseys. We’re being sponsored by Under Armour. We’re getting the girls to buy into the new system.”
Luper said this summer is about putting in offense and defense.
“It’s not as easy as, ‘Let’s go do summer workouts and build strength and speed,’ because we have to put in an entirely new offense and entirely new defense and our thing is, ‘Can you keep up with us? Can you run with us? Are your athletes better than our athletes?’ We want to push the ball. We want to cause chaos the entire game, and be constantly in your face,” Luper said.
Luper said he has had support from parents, administration and the community.
“I’ve already been approached by three parents asking questions about fundraising and what can we do,” he said. “Businesses asking what can we do, so I’m getting a lot of support already. It starts there, the kids buying in and the parents buying in.
“I’ve got full support from the administration, (Principal) Mrs. (Jennifer) Beninato and the athletic director coach (Scott) Shaffett. They’re behind me 100 percent. They haven’t told me no for anything I want. Everything I’ve asked about, they let me do, so having the support of the parents and administration makes it a lot easier.”
This is Luper’s first head coaching job.
Luper, 30, is in his second year at Varnado. Last season, he was an assistant football and assistant boys basketball coach. Luper will remain as the boys assistant basketball coach under Brett Cooper.
Luper teaches English in junior high.
This year, he will serve as Varnado’s defensive coordinator on the gridiron.
Luper is a 2006 Pine High School graduate. He is a 2015 college graduate from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a General Studies Degree.
Before coming to Varnado, Luper was an engineer.
Luper has been in the Army National Guard in Independence since 2010 and will be there until his contract ends in August. He was deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom from 2013-2014 and he completed his degree following his deployment.
Beninato praised Luper.
“He’s very enthusiastic and committed,” Beninato said. “He’s a student himself of the game. He studies film and he’s continually striving to be better to help make the girls better. This is not his first year teaching at Varnado High School. He came to us last year. In the one year he has been here, he has shown how committed he is to the students in the community.
“He strives daily to not only improve the academics, but the athletic programs at Varnado High School.”