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Austin Thornton named Sparta boys basketball coach

Former Michigan State player takes over at Sparta
Austin Thornton named Sparta's next boys basketball coach
Posted at 10:40 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 22:40:38-04

SPARTA, Mich. — Austin Thornton has been named the next varsity boys basketball at Sparta High School.

Thornton's hiring was announced on Tuesday via Twitter as the 32-year old lands his first varsity coaching job.

His legendary playing career at Cedar Springs high school consisted of three conference championships, four district titles, and several individual accolades including becoming the school's all-time leading scorer.

After high school, Thornton went on to play for Tom Izzo and Michigan State from 2008-12, where he averaged 2.5 points per game in four seasons.

Thornton became a graduate assistant at Michigan State during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons under Coach Izzo.

He would then go on to play overseas in Switzerland, Australia and Hungary before returning to West Michigan and has also coached AAU basketball in the area.

Thornton takes over for Lance Roark, who spent five seasons at the head coach of the program, leading the Spartans to a 10-11 record last season.