Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am 33 years old and a 2004 graduate of GHS. I married my wife Danielle in 2009 and we have three girls (a set of 5-year-old twins and a 3-year-old). I graduated from Fairmont State with a B.A. in Education where I am now a Physical Education teacher at Taylor County Middle School. I just recently got my master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Salem University.
When and why did you first become a coach? I started coaching at the youth level once I graduated high school and then moved onto middle school and assisted at the boys’ level before taking over the head girls’ basketball position in 2014. I got into coaching because the game of basketball has been a part of my life since I was in the 2nd grade. I love having the opportunity to instill some of that passion into other people.
What are some reasons you like being part of a team sport? Accountability and dependability. You have to be accountable because your teammates are depending on you to do your job, but you also have the chance to depend on someone if you are having a bad day or game.
Who is your favorite sports hero and why? Michael Jordan. I loved his competitiveness and drive.
What is the best part about competing? Winning. If I don’t win then we’ll play until I do. I will compete in anything from foam tennis to rock-paper-scissors. But most importantly I love to compete against other competitive people as it brings out the best (or worst) in people.
How do you try to make practices fun? I try to get in there and play with them from time to time. I will also make drills a game-like situation so they will compete and cheer for their teammates. At the end of a competition drill they must validate their win with a free throw to make it more game-like.
What is your favorite sports quote? “Championships are not won on the night of a big event but years before by people who commit themselves to championship principles.” It is hanging above the entrance to our locker room.
Do you have a favorite song you listen to prior to coaching a game? I don’t usually listen to music but if I do it’s usually something by Linkin’ Park.
What is your favorite movie about sports? Remember the Titans.
What qualities make a player a good team captain? Someone who is willing to put the success of the team ahead of their individual accomplishments.
What is the one thing you always do after a big win? I will celebrate with the team before going home and start watching the film.
If you could be a successful coach in another sport what would it be? Track and Field. I coached it multiple times at the middle school level. I had the pleasure of coaching a lot of fine boys and girls during my time as a track and field coach.
What one word do you think describes you? Competitive.
Who is/was your favorite coach and why? Coach K from Duke. I have always been a fan of his leadership and coaching style. I even got his autograph once (which comes with a story for those that would like to sit down someday and hear it).
Where is your favorite road venue to coach? Coaching in the Big 10 Conference is a great environment as we have produced the last three state championship teams. But my favorite environment on the road is Lincoln. It is always a hostile environment with a terrific student section.
Which is more important to a team’s success: hard work or talent? Hardworking talented players, if that answers the question. Hard-working players are fun to coach because eventually talent will always find its match and that is where work ethic comes into play. The person that is hard working will win the battle.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I hope to still be coaching basketball in some capacity whether it is still at the high school level or perhaps coaching my three daughters on a travel team.
What do you think you do well as a coach? I try to be relatable to the players and develop meaningful relationships with them. I try to use my time as a coach as a platform to make my players better members of society. We have hosted “Shoot for a Cure” games which helps bring awareness to childhood cancer as well as recently starting a “Little Cats” camp for the younger kids.
What do you think you need to work on as a coach? My on-camera interviews.
*Each week the Mountain Statesman features a coach or player from a different Taylor County sport. We hope you enjoy the chance to learn a little bit more about them.