Lavdiotis dedicates over two decades to basketball


coach lavFor the past 21 years men’s varsity basketball coach Chris Lavdiotis has brought intensity and passion every time he sets foot in the Binks Rawlings Gym.

Lavdiotis began his career at Piedmont in 1992 as a scout for the men’s varsity and became the freshmen coach the next year. After coaching a year of freshmen basketball, he coached junior varsity for seven years. He took the helm as varsity head coach in 2001.

Playing in a very competitive league, the Highlanders have had to beat the odds year in and year out.

“A lot of the years I have coached here, many of our opponents think we won’t be good because we don’t have enough size or talent, Lavdiotis said. “One of the best parts about coaching is that you can help the team beat those odds.”

Lavdiotis has made the Highlanders successful. He coached a record winning season in 2012 with 23 wins, as well as turning around a team that was 5-21 the prior year to a team receiving a bid to the North Coast Section tournament.

2001 bballRaw talent has helped with some of the Highlander’s most successful seasons. Lavdiotis values a player’s work ethic, coachability, temperament and good fundamentals.

“I appreciate the player, regardless of talent, who is first in the gym and last out. It shows a lot about their determination to get better and earn minutes,” Lavdiotis said.

Lavdiotis said coaching at Piedmont is very unique and team chemistry allows for successful seasons.

“Every player here is determined to establish a strong bond between their teammates by building team chemistry,” Lavdiotis said.

Even with most of the players having strong work ethic before joining the team, Lavdiotis has the team run competitive game speed drills during practices which he says increases the work ethic.

“It allows players to become more comfortable in game situations,” Lavdiotis said.

Junior guard Joey Moyer said he has high regards for his coach because he has helped him improve as a basketball player.

“Our coach does a great job of giving us a lot of energy and sparking us before our games,” Moyer said.

Lavdiotis said one of the best things he can see in a game is putting in a player who works hard at practice but that does not get a lot of minutes in games, execute a play perfectly, because of their work ethic.

“It really goes to prove that hard work in practice pays off in the games.”

Coaching his 13 season as Varsity head coach, Lavdiotis said he has still not met his ultimate goal as a coach at Piedmont.

“Our ultimate goal here is to make the Norcal tournament,” Lavdiotis said.

The Norcal tournament is after North Coast Section, in which the semifinalists and finalists of the tournament receive bids.

Although the team has not reached Lavdiotis’ ultimate goal, there have been some great games and seasons along the way, including winning five hour away NCS road games.

Sophomore Jordan Torio said this is his second year playing for Lavdiotis.

“Coach Lavdiotis does a good job of prepping us for big games, and keeping us in tough games with his coaching tactics,” Torio said.

Lavdiotis said he would not trade the coaching job at Piedmont for anywhere else, and hopes the Highlanders finish this year’s season on a strong note.

“Our goal this year is to receive an NCS bid, and get past the first round,” Lavdiotis said.