VALDOSTA -- In the end, Laine Craven decided the title "Mom" needed to take precedence over the title "Coach."

Craven, who has won region championships in each of her four seasons as Lowndes High's girls basketball head coach, resigned from her coaching duties earlier this week, stating a need to focus more on her parental duties.

"I've thought about it, and decided that it's best for my family," Craven said.

Craven and her husband Zane are expecting their third child in December.

"Having the baby and still trying to coach would have been too much," Craven said. "I didn't really feel it was fair to anyone for me to do that.

"It was a hard decision to make. I didn't want to stop coaching. I've really enjoyed coaching here. But coaching takes a lot of time away from my family, and it's been hard for me. With a baby, I need to be home more."

She will, however, remain a health and physical education teacher at Lowndes.

Craven became Lowndes' coach in 1999, hired after predecessor Cliff Ranew moved to the boys team. Before that, she had been an assistant coach at Valdosta State under Charles Cooper and Jane Williamson.

In four years at Lowndes, Craven compiled a 96-16 record, an .857 winning percentage. Her teams made the playoffs all four years. Her 2000-01 Vikettes were state semifinalists.

Craven gave much of the credit for Lowndes' success to the players and the teams she's coached.

"The girls I've coached here in the past-- that (96-16) record belongs to them," she said. "I've always been blessed with girls with talent here."

Craven has essentially been a lifelong Viking. She starred at Lowndes in the late 1980s before going on to an all-Gulf South Conference career at Valdosta State.

She says she's enjoyed her time as coach of her alma mater.

"It was my dream growing up to be the coach at Lowndes. I enjoyed my time here," Craven said. "It's hard to leave the program. Hopefully whoever comes in here next will be able to continue the tradition we've had here.

"I'll still follow this team. I will try to make it to as many games as I can."

Lowndes has not begun the search yet for a new coach.

"I would think this is a job plenty of other coaches will be seeking," Craven said. "Lowndes has a good history in girls basketball.

"By making my decision now, it gives (Lowndes) time to find someone before the school year."

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