Kopp named Piqua boys basketball coach


PIQUA — Brett Kopp was approved as the new Piqua boys basketball varsity coach at Thursday night’s school board meeting.

Kopp has been the varsity coach at Bethel for the past six years and Piqua Athletic Director Chip Hare said the hiring of Kopp was an easy one.

“He has the passion, not just for the game but with the kids as well,” Hare said. “He was exactly what we were looking for.”

Kopp’s challenge will be to turn around a Piqua program that is coming off five straight losing seasons.

Since Heath Butler had back-to-back winning seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Indians have a combined record of 41-73 over the last five seasons, reaching the 10-win total just once.

And he is looking forward to the opportunity to change that.

“It is a bigger program (than Bethel),” Kopp said. “I know they have some really good athletes. And it is an opportunity to coach in a conference that is very competitive.”

Piqua plays in the MVL Miami Division with Butler, Greenville, Tippecanoe and Troy.

The Valley Division includes Fairborn, Sidney, Stebbins, West Carrollton and Sidney.

“I think it is a very competitive conference,” Kopp said. “And my brother (Nathan Kopp) is athletic director at Xenia so I am familiar with the schools in the other division.”

Kopp believes the turn-around can be a quick one because of his philosophy.

“The one rule I have and this is non negotiable, is the guys who are playing the hardest and give us the best chance to win are going to play,” Kopp said. “I wasn’t a great player in high school, but I always worked hard.”

Kopp understands it is about fitting what you do to the talent you have – not being locked into one offense or defense.

“We will do whatever gives us the best chance to win,” Kopp said. “Ideally, I would like to play a transition offense. On defense, we will do what gives us the best chance to win, but it will be founded in the principles of man-to-mad defense.”

Kopp said his six years at Bethel were valuable experience.

“Being a head coach for the first time, I surrounded myself with assistants who had that (head coaching experience),” Kopp said. “I hope to do that here. We won a lot of games at Bethel. They say learning is the sometimes the best experience, so we learned as we were winning.”

Kopp can’t wait to get started.

“The school I teach at it is in class until the end of June,” Kopp said. “So, it is probably going to be a little different (the summer program), then what these guys are used to doing.”

And Kopp expects to have early morning shoot-arounds once school starts again in the fall.

“I think if you are willing to get up at 5 a.m. and come in and take 100 or 200 shots every day to get better, I think that shows the dedication you need,” he said.

Just another example of the hard work it will take to be successful.

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