KOKOMO, Ind. – When asked what his reaction was when he received the call notifying him that he had been selected as the new Kokomo High School girls basketball coach, Troy White answered, “Excited … Humbled … Honored!”
“To be named the coach of one of the most respected girls’ basketball programs in the state of Indiana is very humbling,” White explained.
And being a Kokomo native – Sycamore Elementary, Bon Air Middle School, Haworth High School, Kokomo High School – truly made it an honor.
“Yes, I did graduate from Indiana University Bloomington at one time, but I am an alumni of Kokomo High School … class of 1985 … and proud to be a Wildkat. And even prouder to coach the Lady Wildkats,” White said.
At its regular monthly meeting on July 17, the Kokomo School Corporation Board of School Trustees approved White as the new Kokomo High School girls’ basketball coach.
KHS Athletic Director Jason Snyder, who worked with White for 11 years in the girls basketball program when Snyder served as head coach and White served as a varsity assistant, is excited to have White lead the girls’ basketball program.
“Troy is prepared to step right in as head coach and keep the program moving in the right direction,” Snyder explained. “Troy knows the current members of our team very well and he has a strong knowledge of the teams we play since he was very involved previously in scouting for the program.”
During the school day, White serves as the day reporting supervisor and virtual school supervisor for the corporation.
One of the reasons White feels he is ready to be Kokomo’s head coach is because of everything he has learned from each head coach he has worked with during his 18 years in the Kokomo coaching ranks.
“I learned a great deal from each of the head coaches I worked with, but each one of them was especially talented in certain areas,” White explained. “Mr. (Basil) Mawbey was a defensive genius and skilled in organization, Mr. (Mike) Wade was the offensive genius, Mr. (Rick) Baumgartner found ways to get the athletes to play hard and he was a great shooting coach, Mr. (Chad) Ballenger stressed player development, and Mr. Snyder created a basketball family much like Mr. (Charlie) Hall before him. And I cannot forget my first head coach (football), Willard Rice, who brought such energy and passion to coaching. I hope to bring a blend of the best pieces I learned from all my head coaches.”
Wade, who is now director of human resources (classified) and operations, is excited for White.
“Troy is a passionate individual who always puts his players first,” Wade said. “The pride Troy has in Kokomo athletics, and Kokomo itself, were overwhelming during the interview process.”
During his interviews for the position, White said he expressed three “building blocks” he believes can become a foundation for the girls’ basketball program.
“First – Stability …. The girls have had two coaches in three years,” White explained. “I have been teaching in Kokomo for 24 years and I plan to retire from the Kokomo School Corporation. This is my home! Second – Trust … I believe I can help the girls trust that I will be fair and consistent. Third – Togetherness … That starts with a basketball family, but it must extend beyond the players to our parents, our fans, and our community. I want our players to understand how proud they should be to wear Kokomo on their jerseys … just like the All-Stars wear Indiana and the Olympians wear USA.”
First on the agenda is creating a process that builds a feeder system through the middle school ranks.
“I pride myself on player development and things like basketball IQ, shooting technique, and universal terminology throughout the system, especially at the middle schools,” White said. “I want all of our coaches at all levels using the same language for the same skill sets.”
Snyder believes this is a strength for White since Troy started coaching for the corporation at the middle school level.
“Coach White has a great deal of experience at working with, and developing, the middle school program into a true feeder system,” Snyder explained. “With the talent we have seen at the middle school level now, Coach White is hoping for continued success for our girls’ basketball program in the years to come.”
White’s coaching career began at home when he decided to help his little sister Arinn improve her basketball skills. As a sophomore, Arinn was the point guard for the 1994 Lady Wildkats team that earned state runners-up honors and as a senior, Arinn again played point guard for the 1996 Lady Wildkats team that earned Final Four recognition.
Carver Community Center was where White learned many coaching techniques as he coached his cousins Tia Davis and Ashley Johnson. While at Carver, White formed an AAU squad that qualified for Nationals, where White had the privilege of coaching against such legends as LeBron James and former Indiana Pacer Roger Brown.
Courtesy of the Kokomo School Corporation