FREMONT — Josh Stuckey is in it for the long haul.
Stuckey has lived a mile away from Fremont High School his entire life and knows what it’s like when things are rolling with the boys basketball program. You can’t go anywhere in town without being asked about the game last night.
He hopes that’s the case more often than not now that he’s the leader of the boys basketball team.
Stuckey, a 2006 Fremont graduate, was approved to be the boys head coach by the Fremont School Board of Trustees on Monday night.
He played under Scott LaPlace and was an assistant for Ted Bookwalter after he graduated from Defiance College. Both of those coaches held the position for a number of years, and Stuckey wants to do the same.
“I’ve just been watching the program, seeing what’s happening with three coaches in the last six year. We need some consistency. There’s some parts of the program that are really good. We have some classes that are really good in our program, and we have some classes that seem like they’re neglected a little bit, Stuckey said. “I think it’s time we stop leaving it up to the parents of the class and have a more regimented, systematic approach to how we’re going to develop basketball from elementary all the way up to high school.”
He not only wants to be in the position for awhile but have success at the same time.
“That’s definitely a goal. To build a program where we’re reloading and not rebuilding,” Stuckey said.
He looks at a program like Westview, a small community that loves its basketball and churns out winning seasons year after year, and feels he can do the same at Fremont.
“We’re a really small school, but the people here love basketball,” Stuckey said. “When things are going right, there’s no better place to watch basketball, to play basketball than the cage.”
What Fremont fans are going to get from Stuckey is someone who is “laid back” and won’t be red in the face for 32 minutes on the sideline.
“I’m not a yeller. I’m not a screamer. I’d rather talk to the kids and explain to them why we’re doing something, how we’re going to do it. I think you get better results than screaming at them. It’s just not my thing,” Stuckey said. “There will be an intensity. There will be kids that play really hard. If I could guarantee that you’re going to see out of Fremont this year, I would guarantee you’re going to see one of the hardest playing teams that you’ve ever seen at Fremont.”
Stuckey doesn’t feel the pressure of being a first-time head coach.
“I heard a quote from Peyton Manning and he said, ‘Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the heck you’re doing,’” Stuckey said. “This is a new thing for me. I’ve never even been a freshmen head coach before. So it’s absolutely new, but I feel like I know what I’m doing.”
He can feel that way because he’s been around some good coaches in his time at Fremont.
Stuckey played for LaPlace, who is the boys all-time win leader at Fremont. The junior varsity coach during his playing years was Neal Frantz, who is the girls all-time wins leader. Stuckey was an assistant for Bookwalter, who led the Eagles to their only outright conference regular season title in 2012. The eighth grade coach while Stuckey was the seventh grade coach was Gary Baker, who won five straight sectional titles with the Eagle girls.
“I’ve been able to leech a lot of wisdom off those guys, and I have a lot of support in the community from them,” Stuckey said. “I don’t feel any pressure. I feel comfortable. I feel ready.”