The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

August 18, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Rose still in full bloom on bench

Tony Rose just can’t seem to get basketball out of his blood, not that he should, mind you.

The 1980 Conneaut High School and 1984 Walsh University graduate was named varsity boys basketball coach at Bucyrus High School, located in Crawford County in northwest Ohio.

The former Spartan took charge of the Redmen after spending the previous nine years at North Union High School, where he served as varsity girls basketball coach for five years and also as athletic director for four years.

Rose’s message to his new players at Bucyrus was to the point.

“I told the boys I have two slogans that I live by,” the 51-year-old told Joey Chandler of the Telegraph-Forum. “Cut nets and play in March. If you can cut nets and you can play in March, you can have a pretty good season. I asked every one of them if they have ever cut nets and they said no.

“I said, ‘Well, I want you to cut nets because it’s an amazing feeling. Once you go up the ladder and cut nets you can’t wait to cut your next net, and that’s who I am.’”

Rose, whose coaching career spans more than two decades as both a boys coach and a girls coach across various stops across the Buckeye State comes by his basketball know-how honestly.

He played for his father, Harold, during his days as a Spartan then for another legendary coach at the collegiate level when he moved on to Walsh.

“I was very fortunate to play for a very successful coach in Bob Huggins, who is now at West Virginia University, and he pushed me to a limit I didn't think I was capable of going,” he said. “So the day I graduated, I realized what I was capable of.

“I believe you have all it takes to build a winning program here.”

One of the big attractions in taking the job at Bucyrus for Rose was the opportunity for his wife, Erin Mutchler-Rose, a Bucyrus native and graduate. She still has family in that area and the couple has three children.

“The opportunity for our children to live in the same town as their grandparents and cousins, combined with the passion for sports and basketball I felt from Kevin Kimmel, Tom Jeffrey and other administrators, made this an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” he said.

The aforementioned Jeffrey, the Bucyrus athletic director, said Rose’s basketball pedigree was off the charts.

“He is energetic and he absolutely has clear direction for the program,” he said. “I believe he is a great fit.”

Rose admits, though, it was anything but easy to cut his ties at North Union High School, located in Richwood in Union County.

“I’m walking away from a phenomenal opportunity that I have had for the last nine years at North Union,” he said. “And I have a lot of pride in the championships we have built there.”

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at donmac@suite224.net.

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