After three seasons as the Booneville Lady Bearcats basketball coach, Jay Loyd is leaving the program. He is taking a job as a counselor at Fort Smith Northside.

"I did not apply for the (Northside) job," said Loyd last week. He said that a lady that had worked with him at Greenwood High School that had moved on to Northside called him and asked if he would interview.

"I would love to stay here (Booneville), but this is a move I need to make professionally," he added. "As far as counseling jobs go, this was too good an opportunity to pass up if I was ever going to do it."

Loyd had praise for the Booneville administration. " (Michael) Johnson and (John) Parrish have been great to work for. They have been very supportive."

"I’m really going to miss the girls," Loyd added. "We did not have as many wins as we’d liked, but hopefully together we have had a positive influence. The ladies have been a joy to work with." He added that he will periodically come back to watch future Lady Cat teams play.

While he had only 22 wins on his ledger, Loyd holds the distinction of being the only Booneville girls’ basketball coach to see two of his players go on to play at the next level. Kaytlann Schlinker, a 2012 graduate, and 2013 graduate Brittany Ward have both successfully walked on at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Schlinker will start her Lady Lion career this fall, while Ward will redshirt this coming season and have four years of eligibility starting in 2014-15.