Lewis found himself in an uncomfortable spotlight last month when he took his team off the court at halftime of a game at No. 1 St. Frances after learning that some of the players' cell phones — and his own Bluetooth device — had been taken from the locker room during the first half.

"Coaches are teachers. You always look for life lessons from your own life," Lewis said. "The stuff that happened to us recently, you never want something like that to happen. The next day, I wrote a number of things on the blackboard that had happened to me — the Bias thing, not being able to get back from France for my aunt's funeral and how what happened to us was pretty small."

It's not clear how long Lewis plans to stay at Archbishop Spalding. He doesn't express aspirations to coach on the college level like so many high school coaches do, but his old-school style and low-post skills would certainly be an asset to any team's big men with the talent, if not the fundamentals.

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"He can definitely handle the job," said Kelli Lewis, who met her husband while they were students at Maryland. "I think he's happy here, but if he wanted to do that, I know he could."

As he finishes his most successful season to date, Lewis seems comfortable in his environment.

Showing a short highlight tape of his career at Maryland to his players on Senior Night, he stands in the background, much as he did when he played with Bias and others at Maryland.

"When it's not fun and not easy, it becomes a job," he said in his office earlier that day. "It's a lot of fun. It's not always easy. The kids don't always do what you want them to do, but it's a lot of fun trying to outsmart the other coach and the other team."


Baltimore Sun reporter Glenn Graham contributed to this article.

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