An injury in college turned out to be a good thing for Ryan Godlove’s coaching career and the Cedarville Indians.
Godlove and the Cedarville boys basketball team defeated previously unbeaten Tri-Village 67-56 Tuesday night in a Division IV OHSAA Southwest Regional semifinal game at Vandalia Butler High School.
Cedarville will play Botkins (24-4) in the regional championship game. The winner advances to the Division IV state tournament to play either John F. Kennedy or Richmond Heights March 19 at the University of Dayton Arena.
A 2002 graduate of East Clinton High School, Godlove was playing basketball in college at Cincinnati Christian University. He was injured, missed time on the court and was watched his teammates from the sidelines.
”I had to redshirt my junior year of college after having back surgery and had the opportunity to experience the game from a coach’s perspective,” he said. “It changed the way I saw the game and I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue after my college career was over.”
He hadn’t planned on coaching until the injury forced him to the bench.
The rest, as they say, is history.
”I love the game and it has always been a significant part of my life,” said Godlove. “It has taught me many lessons that have helped me in everyday life … team work, perseverance, and hard work.”
Godlove began coaching the junior varsity boys basketball team at Cedarville in 2010. He became the varsity coach in 2011.
Cedarville won 20 games last season but top player Colby Cross graduated and is now at Cedarville University. The Indians lost to Jackson Center by three in the district championship game.
“We thought we could build off last year’s success,” Godlove said. “We returned all but one player. We still had a solid group of guys returning that had tasted success and were eager to take the next step.”
Cedarville’s only regular season loss in 2020-21 was to Springfield Northeastern, 60-56, on Jan. 5. Since then, Godlove and Co. reeled off 15 straight wins going in to Tuesday night’s regional semifinal. The team won the school’s first Ohio Heritage Conference boys basketball championship in 15 years.
Cedarville has tournament wins over The Miami Valley School 58-17, Twin Valley South 68-40 and Springfield Catholic Central 60-49. In a revenge match, Cedarville edged Jackson Center 50-48 in the Division IV Vandalia 3 District championship game Saturday night.
Godlove didn’t say he had a specific influence when it comes to his coaching style but rather tries to incorporate all the coaches he’s been associated with over the years.
”I’ve been blessed to play under multiple successful coaches,” he said. “I’ve tried to learn from each of them. To take bits and pieces that fit who I am and what I want our program to be about. They’ve all had a major influence in my life. I hope that I’m able to have that same influence, by using the game of basketball to help develop young men who will be leaders in the community.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports