Shifting Up / Co-Coach takes over the basketball program for ladies within the north – The Republic

Brett White wanted to be the head basketball coach but was more than happy to remain an assistant to the Columbus rth Girls Program.

When the rthern Girls Job opened last month, White was intrigued by the opportunity to lead the program. Tuesday morning he was hired as the ninth girls basketball coach in school history.

"It has always been my goal to be the head coach," said White. "At the same time, I've always enjoyed being in rth High School so I really didn't want to go anywhere else. When the opportunity to coach here came up, I was excited about the opportunity."

White, who has been an assistant to Pat McKee for the past nine years, teaches math in high school.

"In terms of teaching, I really like the people I work with and the administration I work for," White said. "As for athletics, it's always been a place where athletics was important. We have dedicated student athletes and we have an administration that knows it's important. With academics and athletics, that always suits me well."

White grew up in Newman, Illinois and was a manager and student assistant for the men's team while studying in eastern Illinois. There he met his wife Allison, who played for the women's team.

After teaching math and physical education in Monticello, Illinois, and serving as a freshman coach for two years, the Whites moved to Columbus in 1999. Brett was rth's JV boys coach for two years and a boys' assistant at the university for four years. After a year hiatus, he returned to rthside as an eighth-grade boy coach for five years, then served rthside's junior boys' assistant coach for a year before joining McKee's staff for the 2012-13 season.

"Honestly, I thought it was different, but when it comes down to it, I train athletes, boys and girls," said White. "Really, my style hasn't changed."

White has some great shoes to fill. McKee is the school's most successful trainer to date and has led the Bull Dogs to six section, four regional and three semistate titles as well as the 2015 Class 4A state championship.

"Our goal each year will be to compete for conference and section championships and see individual improvements," said White. "We have a core group that is coming back and hopefully will help us with that. Part of the appeal to the job is the fact that we have succeeded. We have a nice core of girls who come back."

For most of the time on the rth Girls program, White was the team's defensive coordinator.

"Pat has given me a lot of responsibility and leeway that I hope will prepare me for this next step," said White.

"He understands the Xs and Os and wants to continue the success we have had with our program," said Brian Lewis, rth Athletics Director. "I know when you bring someone in, children get energized just because it's something new."

White's eldest daughter, Madison, was a senior on this year's rthern Team and plans to play college basketball at St. Mary of the Woods. His younger daughter Kaitlin was a newcomer to this year's JV roster.

White has also been the assistant to the girls' golf coach at rth for 12 years.

"I think he's a really great person," said Lewis. “One of the things he kept talking about in the interview was the process of making girls great young women. He knows the importance of being great role models, not just for your daughter, but for all girls Girls get on really well with Brett, and that's really important. "

White recognizes the importance of being a role model for your players.

"I'm an educator first," said White. "I see the basketball team and the basketball court as an extension of my classroom. If I want my players to behave in a certain way, I'll try to model that behavior."

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