TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — An experienced leader for an experienced group of Eagles.
At a recent meeting, the Eastern Local School District Board of Education approved the hire of David Kight as the varsity boys basketball coach.
“It’s a great opportunity here,” said Kight. “The win totals have come up the last few years, so we’re going to try and continue to build on what they’ve done.”
Kight is replacing Jeremy Hill, who ended his five-year tenure with the Eagles to take the head coaching job at Meigs. Eastern has improved its record in each of the last three seasons, going 10-13 this past winter.
“With the boys that I’ve met so far, there’s an extremely great nucleus here,” Kight said. “They have great attitudes and great effort, so we’re excited about it. I think numbers have been pretty good, I’ve seen like 17-or-18 kids in the gym just in the month of June.
“I’m very routine, so they know the drill, they know when things are going to start, when things are going to get serious and there’s no more playing around. They’re learning me and I’m learning them, it’s been good so far. Coach (Matt) Simpson is going to stay on and help me, which I’m excited about.”
Kight is a 1994 graduate of Jackson High School, where 11 of of his years of basketball coaching experience came. Kight spent four years with the Western High School boys, with half of his time there as head coach.
Then Kight spent two seasons as head coach of the Meigs varsity boys, in which time he led the Maroon and Gold to a sectional crown. Kight spent last season as the head coach of the Southern varsity girls, with the Lady Tornadoes going 7-17 on the year.
“It was sad to leave Southern,” Kight said. “I enjoyed coaching last season, and with some of the girls that we had back, it was hard to tell them we were up and leaving.”
On the court, Kight plans to fine-tune the motion offense and man-to-man defense that the Eagles are already familiar with.
“There are probably going to be more new things on the defensive end, with more switching,” Kight said. “I don’t know how much switching they did last year. It’ll still be man-to-man, but we’ll add some switching and aspects like that. A lot of the motion offense concepts are the same.
“When I’ve had them in the gym and been coaching them, they’re receptive to listening and learning, trying to fix what I think they did wrong. Whether it’s been in a drill or at summer league, their response has been good.”
The Eagles’ 2018-19 campaign will begin at ‘The Nest’ on Nov. 30, with a non-conference bout against River Valley.
“It’s fun when you take something at the beginning of November and then see the finished product around February or March, to see how much they’ve grown” Kight said. “I want them to continue to have success and build off of what they’ve built on the last couple years and see if they can take it further than they did last year.”
Kight and the Eagles are both looking to return to the Convo for the first time since 2013 and they’ll also try to improve on last season’s 6-10 league record, which placed EHS sixth in the final Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division standings.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.