High School Sports

Lincoln basketball coach Aubrey Shelton will take over UPS men's program

Lincoln High School boys basketball coach Aubrey Shelton has been hired to take over the men's program at the University of Puget Sound.
Lincoln High School boys basketball coach Aubrey Shelton has been hired to take over the men's program at the University of Puget Sound. dmontesino@thenewstribune.com

Aubrey Shelton knows all about the expectations that come with coaching basketball at an an alma mater.

He's passed that test with flying colors the past 11 seasons coaching at Lincoln High School. He won 237 games, and led the Abes to five top-five finishes at the Class 3A state tournament.

Now Shelton, 35, will move on to another former program he played at — the University of Puget Sound.

He was hired as the Loggers’ new men’s basketball coach Friday, replacing Justin Lunt, who took a job earlier this year at Northwest Conference rival Pacific.

Shelton's ties to UPS basketball — he played from 2001-05, and was as a graduate assistant in 2006 — were too valuable for athletic director Amy Hackett to pass up, she said.

"Aubrey has been an important fixture in Tacoma, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to our community," Hackett said.

After graduating from Lincoln in 2001, Shelton was a starting forward for two UPS squads that won NWC titles.

As a high school coach, Shelton built Lincoln into one of the state's top 3A programs.

The Abes won eight league titles in the 3A Narrows and 3A Pierce County Leagues, six district titles and have reached the state semifinals three times since 2013 — including the past two seasons.

"I would have been happy being at Lincoln the rest of my career, but it has always been a dream of mine to be a college coach," Shelton said. "The opportunity to do that at my alma mater is just way too special to pass up."

Shelton said the Loggers will play a similar brand of basketball to the Abes — tough defense with a team-first mentality.

He will finish the school year at Lincoln and join the university full-time next month.

"I probably wouldn’t have been ready a year ago (for a college job), but these past couple of seasons, I have really grown as a coach," Shelton said. "I look forward to continuing that growth at the next level."

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