Trinity Lutheran hires new varsity boys basketball coach

A new era has begun for Trinity Lutheran High School’s boys basketball program.

The school announced the hiring of Michael McBride II as the new varsity coach Monday during a press conference at the Bollinger Athletic Complex.

McBride replaces Brian Stuckwisch, who recently resigned from his position.

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Stuckwisch led the Cougars to a 20-5 record and sectional title in 2011. He then coached junior varsity for five years before taking on the varsity coaching job again in 2017. The past three seasons, the Cougars had records of 6-18, 9-17 and 6-18.

“We were looking for somebody that would benefit our entire faculty and staff at Trinity Lutheran High School, someone who would benefit our students and would be an asset to everyone,” Trinity Principal Clayton Darlage said. “Along with that, we looked for an individual with upstanding Christian character, someone that can relate with student-athletes without any question, someone who had various coaching experience in multiple sports at a variety of levels. The Lord has supplied us with someone to meet those needs.”

Since 2011, McBride has been the dean of students at Columbus East High School.

He has coached boys basketball at Central Middle School in Columbus since 2002. He also was a varsity assistant football coach at East from 2011 to 2016.

Prior to his more recent roles, McBride was an assistant varsity football coach, junior varsity basketball coach and assistant varsity track coach at Columbus North High School from 2002 to 2011.

He helped coach football and basketball as a varsity assistant at Paoli High School from 1999 to 2000 and was an assistant for the basketball team at Springs Valley High School in 1999. McBride also was the head track coach at Springs Valley.

McBride, a 1992 Cascade High School graduate, was an eastern world history, western world history and U.S. history teacher at Saint Bartholomew Roman Catholic School from 2000 to 2002. He then taught world and U.S. history from 2002 to 2008 at Central Middle School before teaching U.S. history and government at Columbus North High School from 2008 to 2011.

At Trinity, McBride will work in administration an assistant principal and admissions and outreach director.

McBride played basketball at Newberry College, a Lutheran college in South Carolina.

“What drew me here first was Clayton (Darlage). When I coached football at Columbus North, we would have to scheme up against him because he was a pretty good linebacker at Seymour,” McBride said. “He had a pretty good career at Franklin College, and then we had an opportunity to coach together at Columbus North. At the same time, we were teaching together at Central Middle School in Columbus.

“He and I have maintained a friendship throughout that time, but really what drew me here was the opportunity. I have always wanted to professionally get into high school administration, and there was an opportunity to do that here. Coming here, everything kind of comes full circle. An athletics goal has been to become a varsity basketball coach.”

McBride said he will have high expectations of his players on and off the court.

“The players owe each other accountability, and the coaches owe players accountability,” he said. “I like this phrase of ‘Being great at the things that take no talent.’ Being on time takes no talent. Giving your best effort takes no talent. Doing the things that you can control to the best of your ability and work with them, the team framework where you understand your role and getting to know your teammates, those are the types of things I look forward to. I want to improve basketball IQ. I always talk about that with every team I coach. One of the things that will carry us is our basketball IQ.”

He said he will evaluate his team before committing to a certain style of play.

“As far as styles, it will be a matter of waiting to see what we have,” McBride said. “The style, I think, to be a successful coach is a characteristic of the team. We’re going to play hard defense and get after people, whether we are or aren’t athletic. We’re going to focus on defense, and I believe it leads to instant offense.”

McBride plans on starting to assemble his coaching staff right away.

“I’m starting tonight,” he said. “I am going to start making phone calls right away. I have a list and some people in mind. I think what I would like to do is to take in one person at a time. I think we’re probably going to add two coaches in addition to myself.”

McBride and Trinity Athletic Director Andy Denny plan on putting together a summer plan soon.

“Right now, I need to work with Mr. Denny and start looking at schedules,” McBride said. “We need to have a basic callout meeting for interested players. At that point, we can come up with a summer routine. It’s important to me that kids are playing multiple sports. It makes them better athletes for the sport you coach. I want to work with these other coaches and don’t want to step on any toes. I want a calendar that’s conducive to playing other sports. We want to see if there are ways we could even train together.”

McBride will work at East until the conclusion of the school year.