LEXINGTON, KY (KHSAA) – Tommy Starns, who made Lexington Catholic basketball competitive with the city’s powerhouse public schools more than 50 years ago, died last night. He was 86. Mark Starns said his dad had suffered a heart attack.
Tommy Starns never got enough credit for being an outstanding coach. Competing in the 11th Region against coaching icons such as Al Prewitt at Henry Clay, Bobby Barlow at Bryan Station, Jock Sutherland at Lafayette, and Nolan Barger at Tates Creek, Starns managed to lead the Knights to the state tournament three times — in 1966, 1977 and 1985. He had 371 career victories.
Starns was a high school teammate of Al Prewitt’s at Henry Clay, and they played for the Blue Devils in the 1952 Sweet Sixteen.
Starns, an Air Force veteran, coached at Lexington Junior for four years before moving to Lexington Catholic in 1964