Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
Riverdale’s loss will be Kenton’s gain.
That’s because after one season as the Riverdale boys head basketball coach, Matt McCullough is returning home to fill the same position at Kenton High school.
McCullough, who was approved to fill the vacant position by the Kenton school board on Monday, is no stranger to the KHS program, having played as a Wildcat during his prep career and then serving as the school’s junior varsity coach from 2003 until 2011.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to eventually come back to the city I grew up in and coach basketball,” the new KHS mentor said. “With the desire and love I have for the game, hopefully I can instill that on the athletes we have and we can build a successful program.”
McCullough, who guided a young Falcon squad to a 6-15 record last winter, said leaving Riverdale was not an easy decision.
“It was an extremely difficult decision,” he said. “I developed some good relationships at Riverdale with the kids and the staff and I am a very loyal individual. But when the opportunity to coach at the school I graduated from came up, it was too much too pass up. I wish them (Riverdale) well and I think they will be very good over the next couple of years.”
He said another factor in leaving Riverdale was that the Hardin County ESC behavioral unit he taught there was cut and he is now teaching in Kenton through the Auglaize County ESC.
“That was somewhat of a deciding factor,” he said. “I had already decided to teach in Kenton and coach at Riverdale, but when the Kenton position came up, it was something I couldn’t pass up.”
The new Wildcat mentor said he wants to change the overall mentality of the KHS basketball program.
“I want our players to have the confidence that they can go out on the court night in and night out and compete to the best of their abilities and with maximum effort.”
He added he wants a group of athletes that are not only physically tough on the court, but mentally strong as well.
“Physically I think the kids of Kenton are tough, it will be about getting the mental toughness on the court,” he added. “They have to realize that things aren’t always going to go our way and that we will have to face adversity.”
He added it helps having coached many of the current players as they have developed into high school players.
“I want to continue to build and develop the relationships I have with the kids.”
McCullough said he has already had a camp with the current high school players and that he will be planning and getting information out about youth camps in the near future.
McCullough replaces Terry Rowe, who was the Wildcats head coach for the past six seasons.
By KENDRICK JESIONOWSKI
Times sports editor