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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rider Hoops: Meet Chad Spurlock

Hey all, take a minute to read this brief interview I did with new Orrville boys freshman basketball coach Chad Spurlock. He was hired by Coach Slaughter back in the spring and is looking forward to his first season on the staff. I thought it might be a neat idea to let him introduce himself, convey his coaching style and ask him what he believes his role in the program to be.


Blog: Where did you go to high school? College?
Coach Spurlock: I graduated from Smithville, I decided to go back and get my degree about 4 years ago. I am in the process of finishing my bachelor's degree in education at the University of Akron. I should be student teaching next spring.

Blog: Why did you decide to get into coaching basketball?
Coach Spurlock: I would say to interaction with young men, the competition, and the love for the game of basketball just being around it. I have always enjoyed playing and watching basketball and I have developed a passion for the game, also the strategy that goes with it.

Blog: What coaching experience do you bring to Orrville?
Coach Spurlock: I have coached the last three years at Waynedale, as a JV coach for one year and a varsity assistant for two years. I enjoyed my time there, a lot of great people there. Coach Geiser gave me an opportunity to grow there and cut my teeth the last three years. It was a great learning experience for me. Before that I helped at Smithville for two years with the baseball team. I was the assistant/pitching coach for the JV team. But basketball is my love.

Blog: What about coaching gives you the greatest sense of worth?
Coach Spurlock: My biggest joy of coaching is the interaction with the kids and trying to be a positive role model for them. I also enjoy watching kids succeed and improve within the season.

Blog: At the freshman level, is it about winning, developing players or getting them comfortable in the system? Or all three?
Coach Spurlock: Winning is important, as I consider myself the ultimate competitor at what ever I am involved in. I would say the main goal is progress from last year to this year always improving not leveling off and being satisfied, always wanting to improve. I want as a freshman coach to see these young men continue to learn the style that Coach Slaughter wants for the whole program. I will try to implement, to the best of my ability, the style that will help us win games as well. Ultimately I want to see progress from the team standpoint defensively and offensively, if I see progress in those areas through the season I will be happy.

Blog: Other than freshman coach, what other role will you have in the program?
Coach Spurlock: My main contributions will be scouting the upcoming teams we play, something I did at Waynedale at times. You may see me on the bench a few times during the season as well, mainly during tourney time though. Coach Slaughter did say he would like my input at times during the season from time to time if I see anything that would help the varsity succeed.

Blog: If you could have one goal that your players achieve year in and year out, what would that be?
Coach Spurlock: It is hard to think of just one, but I would say that I want them to understand I am trying to put us, as a team, in the best possible position to win every game and sometimes that means sacrifices by a certain player or players to accomplish that. Also having confidence in themselves, pride and an overall improvement in their basketball IQ. Above all, I want it to be a positive experience for them.

Blog: Are you a "coach to the system guy" or one that crafts a system around the available talent?
Coach Spurlock: I would have to say coaching to the talent I have because it always changes year to year, especially at the freshman level where kids are getting moved up and down between JV and freshman. But in saying that, there are certain styles I have that I want to see year in and year out. I am a man to man defense coach and stress strong defensive principles. I like to heat it up and get out and pressure the ball and mix up the defense from time to time, but that again depends on what kind of talent I have. But overall I think you have to coach to the talent you have and the ability the kids have to succeed.

Blog: Anything else to add?
Coach Spurlock: I am very excited about the opportunity to coach at Orrville and thank Coach Slaughter, Coach Landis and Coach Smith for making it an easy transition. I'm grateful for the opportunity given to me by Coach Slaughter. I would like to be part of getting this program heading in the right direction again, and if my small part at the freshman level in time helps this program to succeed at winning a district championship and even a state championship that will be very satisfying for me, because it is time to get Orrville basketball back to the top where it belongs and I know that is where the other coaches goals are as well.

That's it. For what it's worth, Chad and his wife have lived in Orrville for the past 6 years and he has 2 small boys....future Riders no doubt.

Everything I've heard mentioned about him has been positive. He's known as a coach who has the respect of the kids and gets the most out of his teams. From my conversation with him, he seems to be a humble man who appreciates the opportunity with a tradition rich school like Orrville. I'm sure he's excited about the opportunity to be on the staff in what is hopefully a successful period of Orrville Basketball.

Coach Spurlock also wanted me to pass along the team's success at a shootout in Apple Creek a few weeks ago. Teams were Wooster, Waynedale and Waynedale's 8th grade team (who went undefeated last year). The Riders went 5-0 and won the championship game. He expressed a lot of positives from what he saw. Said the kids played hard and unselfish. Always great to hear.

Last but not least, from speaking to Coach Spurlock, he relayed to me the possibility of seeing some new uniforms this season for the varsity team. Nothing groundbreaking, but a return to the red uniform that have been absent for the past few seasons, having been replaced by the black uniform set. I've not liked the black uniforms since day 1, doesn't say "Orrville" to me (says Rittman or Manchester, in my opinion). I guess I'm just old school.

White at home, red on the road...just like it used to be. Can't happen soon enough. This is all tentative right now, as funds have to be secured in the budget, but it sounds like if Coach Sly has his way, we'd see the Riders back in the Red & white this winter.

Thanks again to Coach Spurlock for his time and effort in making this happen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice interview, sounds like a coach we need in the system. Welcome to Orrville basketball coach Spurlock.He sounds like a guy that will be a great asset to the program. I hope the program gets back to where it needs to be as coach Spurlock indicated, WINNING!