OTTAWA — When Tyson McGlaughlin was hired as Ottawa-Glandorf’s boys basketball in 2011 he described a general plan which has played out almost exactly word for word as he outlined it.
He said his coaching philosophy was simple. The Titans would do whatever it takes to win.
He said O-G would try to take advantage of its athleticism and depth, that it would apply defensive pressure all over the court and get up and down the floor offensively to try to wear out its opponents.
Four boxes. Four check marks.
Ottawa-Glandorf was already an elite high school basketball program before McGlaughlin came home to the school where he ranks sixth on the career scoring list with 1,241 points.
The two coaches just before him – Josh Leslie and Dave Sweet – won state championships and the coach before them, Ron Niekamp, had two teams reach the state semifinals.
But what O-G has done the last 12 seasons is raise the level of its success and the level of its expectations even higher.
It has won 20 or more games nine times in those 12 seasons, including the last eight years in a row. It has played in five state tournaments, won one state title, has been state runner-up twice and has won 19, 19 and 16 games the three seasons it didn’t win 20.
Because of that sustained excellence McGlaughlin is The Lima News boys basketball Dream Team Coach of the Year.
“Obviously, you don’t get that without a great team and great players and great coaches around you,” McGlaughlin said.
“I do think sometimes it’s easier to get there and it’s hard to sustain at that high level. The bull’s eye gets bigger and bigger. We always talk to our kids about embracing the bull’s eye. I think that’s something our kids and coaches take to heart,” he said.
McGlaughlin’s career record at Ottawa-Glandorf is 262-56 and his teams were 30-16 in two seasons at Miller City in his first experience as a head coach.
Asked about the similarity between how he said he wanted his Ottawa-Glandorf teams to play back in 2011 and how they have played, he said, “Those are things I’m passionate about. Those are things we’re very confident in. We’ve been blessed to have the kids to be able to run that and play that type of game.”
McGlaughlin says coaching “was in my blood,” and he never considered a different career choice.
His dad, Kevin McGlaughlin, was Miller City’s boys basketball coach for 19 seasons. His Wildcats teams won 274 games, four district championships and four Putnam County League titles from 1977-1996.
“My mom and dad were very into athletics. I was the little kid at every practice, the kid on the bench. That’s a special bond my dad and I will have forever and hopefully that is something I can pass on to my son (6-year-old J.T.),” McGlaughlin said.
Kevin McGlaughlin has been on the bench as an assistant coach during Tyson McLaughlin’s entire career as a head coach.
McGlaughlin said his dad was surprised when he suggested becoming an assistant coach for him at Miller City in 2009.
“It was hard for him. That (Miller City) was his old stomping ground and for him to be an assistant, he didn’t know how that role would work for him. But it has worked out really well for us. It was something I wanted to do with Dad. And it turned out really well for us,” he said.
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Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.