In this edition of Reed Between the Lines: Sports Editor Scott Reed sits down with Taylor County Middle School Boys’ Basketball Coach Jonathan Curran
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Clarksburg, WV and am a 1999 graduate of Robert C. Byrd High School. I was all-state in soccer and also played football and basketball for the Eagles. I was recruited to play soccer at Alderson-Broaddus University and WVU. I walked-on at WVU in basketball and played for both Gale Catlett and John Beilein. I also have three boys (10, 8 and 5).
When did you first decide you that wanted to get involved with coaching?
I never thought I wanted to coach even though I had worked camps & refereed in high school and college. It really began when I started coaching my boys in rec sports. I just really enjoyed it.
Who is your favorite sports hero and why?
Michael Jordan. Those shoes and the style. Plus he had a complete game.
How do you deal with players’ and/or parents’ concerns regarding playing time?
I’m fortunate in the fact that I can field two teams (JV & varsity). My goal at this level is basic skills and I tell the parents up front that my goal is to get players into game situations. Our main goal is to compete and ultimately be ready for the high school level.
How do you try to make practices fun?
With almost all of our drills there is some type of competition and someone always wins. We change drills daily and we also do some “skills challenges” too with shooting competitions which the kids love. I mean, who’s doesn’t like to shoot the rock?
How has coaching affected your life?
Coaching is something I feel that I’ve fallen into naturally. I truly enjoy it. I’ve been making notes since last season about things I want us to improve on this year. I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I do. It’s also a daily reminder of how hard you must work to be successful.
What is your favorite movie about sports?
The Program or Blue Chips.
What qualities would make a player a good team captain?
A team captain is someone who puts the team first by being a leader (vocally or by example). They are a great teammate and winning is the most important thing to them.
What is the one thing you always do after winning a big game?
Breathe a sigh of relief, give Bart a high five, and congratulate my team.
What are your best and worst memories in coaching?
The worst memories are always any player injury. Seeing Garrett Ware get hurt against Fairmont Senior (Curran is also an assistant football coach). The best memory is winning a basketball game last year on a last-second shot.
If you could be a successful coach in another sport what would it be?
What one word or phrase do you think describes you?
“Factual.” If you do something right, I’ll tell you. If you mess something up, I’ll tell you.
Give me one word to describe your current assistant coach.
Where is your favorite away basketball venue to coach a game?
I had the opportunity to coach at RCB and that was kind of cool.
What would you say to a star player who has missed several wide-open shots?
It just depends on the player. Just because you’re open doesn’t make it a good shot. But to a shooter I would say attack and don’t settle, get something easy just to get going.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Teaching and coaching. Hopefully I’ll have built a good feeder program for Grafton High School.
What do you think you do well as a coach?
I’m honest with my players and I think I relate well to them. I believe they go hand-in-hand.
How do you plan on improving as a coach from year to year?
I think the best coaches have a standard, an expectation of what they want from their program. But they also need to adapt, especially at this level. We have to adjust to the personnel we have and adapt to their style of play. We don’t get to recruit.
What would you tell a kid who has never played organized basketball but is thinking about trying out?
If they haven’t played any rec ball then they just need to practice basic skills. We can teach them the X’s & O’s.
What did you think of these questions?
These were good questions!
*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.