Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — The student has become the teacher.
When Matt Hoops first became the head coach of Unioto’s boys basketball program, the Shermans were scrambling to find wins.
But since that 2007-08 season, Hoops has turned the program back into a contender … just like it was when he played for legendary coach Ron Lovely from 1993-1996.
Unioto handed Southeastern a 62-38 loss on Friday, helping Hoops pass his high school coach on the school’s all-time coaching wins list.
The win was Hoops’ 207th at Unioto, making him the program’s all-time winningest coach — passing Lovely, who was 206-171 at the school.
“It just means that I’ve coached a lot of good players,” Hoops said. “I’ve had a lot of support from the administration and I’ve had really good coaches on my staff throughout the last 13 years. When you’re the middle of it all, you don’t understand the magnitude of it. You’re just trying to win and move on. But when you sit and think about it, for me, it allows me to think about all the great people that have been involved.”
Hoops’ record at Unioto now stands at 207-106. But believe it or not, during the first three years of his tenure, the Shermans were 16-47. If you’re doing the math at home, since then, Hoops is 191-59.
“All the friends that I’ve made … I don’t know, it’s just gratifying to know that I’ve been around so many great people,” Hoops said. “The support from Christina, my wife, and my family, you know, you don’t get to a point like this without them.”
During Hoops’ 13-year stay at his alma mater, the Shermans have won seven Scioto Valley Conference titles and, from 2014-2018, put together a conference record 69-game winning streak. The program has also won five sectional championships and two district titles.
Hoops has been named the SVC’s Coach of the Year on seven occasions. His overall career record, between stints at Westfall and Unioto, stands at 220-135.
… and counting.
“It’s a cool thing. It just shows what happens over the longevity of a career where you have a lot of great people around you,” Hoops said. “I’m blessed.”