Sports

McCann takes the reins of Mark Twain boys basketball

Cody McCann, far right, gives directions to Clopton players during a playoff basketball game. He has accepted a job as the head boys coach at Mark Twain.
CONTRIBUTED
Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 12:56 pm

Cody McCann will take over as the new head coach of the Mark Twain High School boys basketball program, the school announced Tuesday.


The 2008 Bowling Green High School graduate has spent the past four years as an assistant with the boys team at Clopton High School after playing college football at Central Methodist University.


McCann embarks on his first stint as a head coach.


"I felt it was a good opportunity at the right time," he said.


Mark Twain athletic director Josh Lancaster said McCann rose to the top of the school's search list once it learned of the departure of Wade Proffitt, who accepted a similar job closer to home at Carrollton High School after one year leading the Tigers.


"When we speak to references and talk to others who know (McCann), he comes off really well," Lancaster said. "He's very grounded. He's somebody who's going to be able to relate to the kids well. The fact that he's from the area, we believe we have somebody that's really going to not just teach the game but build the foundation for the basketball program."


McCann said he's excited to meet his returning players and build with the key pieces he believes are already in place for the team to have success. 


"After playing them the last couple years, I know they have some talent there, especially in that senior group," he said. "It's not a total rebuild situation at all."


The first-year head coach said he wants to blend his basketball background with what already has been working at Mark Twain, which finished the 2016-2017 campaign with a record of 9-15.


"Just (looking forward to) getting in, getting to know them and trying to bring my basketball philosophy and implement that there with what they already know and what they already do," he said. "It will make the best of both worlds. I don't want to go in and change everything that they're not comfortable with. I want to be able to do stuff that they've already done and add my own twist to it."


While not wanting to shed light on any definitive plans, McCann did offer that he expects much of his offense to go through rising senior post Grant Peters.


"On the offensive end, with Grant being there and being 6-foot-6, I want to try and get the ball in the post as much as possible, and that'll open up everything else," he said. "We want to work inside out."


McCann will work for the high school as an ISS supervisor during the day. His wife Jill already works in the building as a business teacher.


Together they have three children, all under the age of four, and reside in Bowling Green.


"It's definitely going to be nice," McCann said. "Our young kids go to day care in New London. Lots of times, we should be able to carpool."


McCann credits much of his coaching emergence to Clopton coach Craig Smith, who he served under since 2013. Clopton reached the Class 2 state quarterfinals this past season.


"Being able to work with coach Smith the last four years has been great," he said. "He's taught me a lot. How to run practice, how to run the game, how to handle different situations throughout the game. I think the last four years I've really grown as a coach."


McCann said he is chomping at the bit to get started with summer training.


"That's when you really get to know the kids and bond with them," he said. "The road trips to the different tournaments and shootouts you go to, usually you ride together so you get some bonding time in there.


"I'm really looking forward to that first day of summer practice to see what all we can do and try to accomplish this year."

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