Stephen Graves comes to Clinton-Massie as the new varsity boys basketball coach.
He understands the difficulty of dealing with a successful post-season football run in preparation for the basketball season.
But he may have an advantage over past coaches in that regard.
Graves worked for Graham High School’s football team when a guy named Dan McSurley was head coach.
“I’m very familiar with Dan,” said Graves, whose father coached with McSurley at Graham. “I was Dan’s water boy when I was seven years old.
“I’ve been to a few football practices already to get to know a few of the guys. Dan was real welcoming.”
Relationship with McSurley aside, Graves believes he is a fit on Lebanon Road because of his experience with a small school. While he spent last season as a basketball coach at Mt. Healthy, Graves was a coach at Fenwick High School six years prior to that.
“Clinton-Massie is the smaller school feel that I’m used to,” he said. “I told myself if Clinton-Massie (job) ever came open I’d jump at it.”
Graves will teach physical education at Clinton-Massie High School. He resides in Lebanon.
He said 13-15 players have been to open gyms, which he said are “great numbers.”
A 2006 graduate of Muskingum College, Graves was named the District 15 Assistant Coach of the Year in 2018.
“I’ve had the luxury of learning from a lot of great coaches, Brooks Cupp, Pat Kreke,” Graves said. “Tough, passionate, unified, thankful are the four core values in my system.”
As for football infringing on basketball season, Graves said he’ll take it.
“I’m a big believer in success breeds success,” he said. “If football makes a deep run again, I’m gonna jump in with them and celebrate that with them.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports