LaPoynor basketball coach Dean Nuckolls leaving for Bullard after 15 years

Local Sports

BULLARD, Texas (KETK) – One of the most respected high school basketball coaches in East Texas will be manning a different bench next season.

LaPoynor ISD Athletics Director Dean Nuckolls announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that he would be leaving the Flyers after coaching their boys team for 15 years, and take over the Bulllard Panthers boys program.

Nuckolls says that as much as he and his family love the LaPoynor community, they felt it was time for a change and a new challenge.

“Seeing if I could be successful somewhere else,” said Nuckolls.

“LaPoynor is the only place I’ve ever been a head coach. Been here for 15 years, I’ve been the head coach for 15 years. Does my system work somewhere other than LaPoynor. We are gonna take the court to compete. Every ball that goes up should be our ball. I mean I’ve always kind of been in the mix here at LaPoynor, not just in district, but in the region. That’s my expectation wherever I plan to be at.”

LaPoynor was 26-6, and made it to the 2A state quarterfinals in 2021. A year ago, they reached their first state championship game since 1995, but the 1A title game vs. Slidell was never played due to the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nuckolls won 383 games for the Flyers, and took them to the playoffs in every one of his 15 seasons. Since 2014, LaPoynor went at least four rounds deep in the playoffs five times.

Nuckolls will finish the school year with his current district, and then start his new tenure at Bullard.

Health Fults, who had been Bullard’s boys basketball coach until this past season, is stepping away from coaching, but will continue teaching Biology at Bullard High School.

Fults lost his wife, Holli, earlier this year to a battle with cancer and had already withdrawn from most of his duties with the team.

Bullard ISD will be hosting a meet-and-greet at the high school on Monday, May 10 at 5:00 p.m. for those interested in meeting Coach Nuckolls.

Watch the video to see the story.

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