Sunday, July 08, 2001

High School Insider


Western Hills, Withrow hire basketball coaches

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The basketball rivalry between Western Hills and Withrow could reach the intensity level of the Crosstown Shootout. That's because former UC player Terry Nelson was hired as head coach at Western Hills, and XU graduate Steve Gentry was hired at Withrow.

        Nelson, a former assistant at Western Hills and St. Xavier, replaces Lannis Timmons, who resigned to take an assistant coaching position at the University of Akron.

        “Terry has the kind of vision that is needed to have a solid program,” said Dave Dierker, athletics director for Cincinnati Public Schools.

        “He plans to visit the home of every player to lay out expectations and guidelines. He will bring more discipline to the program and set up an office for visiting college recruiters.”

        Nelson, who is from Long Beach, Calif., was offered
the head coaching postion at Aiken but decided to interview at Western Hills before accepting the job.

        “I'm a man of simple pleasures,” Nelson said about why he stayed in Cincinnati, receiving a degree from UC in 1997. “I like grass, blue skies and very little traffic.”

        Nelson will bring many of UC coach Bob Huggins' discipline codes to Western Hills.

        “No player will walk into a gym with pants down or wearing a football jersey,” Nelson said. “The six seniors will lead by example. I plan to prepare all of them for college.”

        A Withrow graduate, Gentry was former coach George Jackson's choice as successor. Jackson resigned to accept an assistant coaching position at Seton Hall.

        MORE CHANGES: Greg Mills, also an assistant at Western Hills, has been hired as the head boys basketball coach at Hughes.

        He succeeds Mark Brackman, who took the position after a resignation several weeks before the start of last season.

        CPS' Dierker expects to have the boys basketball coaching position at Aiken filled within the next two weeks. Sam Ionna resigned at the end of last season.

        Aiken football coach Mike Irvin has been hired as head coach at Western Hills, replacing Ed Youngs, who stepped down following the 2000 season.

        “One of the reasons I left was the fact that the teaching job didn't leave me enough time to coach,” said Youngs, who guided the Mustangs into the Division I playoffs for the first time.

        “I taught five classes (freshman biology) and never had the last period off to get ready for practice. Mike was on our staff for two years and will do a great job.”

        Randy Miller, an assistant under Irvin, has been promoted to head coach at Aiken.

        CLASSIFIEDS: Mariemont needs a wrestling coach. Call Jeff Watterson at 272-7600.

        Seven Hills is looking for a head volleyball coach. Call Dick Snyder at 272-5392.

        Mount Notre Dame is looking for a head basketball coach and diving coach. Call Mark Schenkel at 821-3044, ext. 107.

        Sycamore has the following openings: varsity boys golf, junior varsity girls soccer, assistant junior varsity girls soccer, head freshman girls soccer. Call Jim Stoll at 489-0405, ext. 368.

        VOLLEYBALL CHANGE: The opportunity for two Cincinnati Division I volleyball teams to qualify for the state semifinals no longer exists.

        Beginning in the 2001 season, there will be only four district champions rather than five because fewer schools are competing in the big-school division.

        FIT TO A T: The sale of T-shirts at sectional and district competitions netted the Southwest District Board of the Ohio High School Athletic Association more than $15,500 this past school year.

        The money generated, and any left from the previous year, is used for athletic scholarships. Each school can nominate two students who have excelled in the classroom.

        Overall, 32 student-athletes received $500 scholarships, and two others were awarded $1,000 Fred Durkle Scholarship.

        HUBBARD TO FINLAND: The urge to be a head football coach again was too much for Ben Hubbard, a former coach at seven schools, including Fairfield and Little Miami.

        Hubbard is currently in Helsinki, Finland, coaching the Wolverines, a professional team competing in the Finland National Football League.

        “I coached in Finland in 1989 and always wanted to go back,” Hubbard said. “We went .500 and made the playoffs. The games draw pretty good crowds, but the players don't make a lot of money.”

        An assistant the past three years at Lakota West, Hubbard will join the Amelia staff this season working with his youngest son, Rocky, who's the head coach of the Barons.

        MATUSZEK TO MOREHEAD: Although Kyle Matuszek sat out the high school baseball season after knee surgery, the Purcell Marian graduate earned a baseball scholarship.

        The son of former professional baseball player Len, the younger Matuszek has accepted a grant-in-aid from Morehead State University, where he'll join his older brother, Kevin, a starter at third base.

        COMMITMENTS: Three of Cincinnati's most promising senior football players, E.J. Underwood (Hamilton), Kyle Ralph (St. Xavier) and Ricky Brown (Elder), have verbally commited to major colleges.

        A defensive back, Underwood (6 feet, 175 pounds) is the first Cincinnati player to commit to new Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. Ralph, a 6-foot-5, 277-pound offensive lineman, and Brown, a 6-3 safety, will attend Vanderbilt.

       



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