By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Cody Calhoun knows that his players have been through a lot.
For many of them, he will be their third head coach in the last six months.
“That can’t be easy for high-school kids,” Calhoun said.
But the new Aurora boys basketball head coach, pending approval by the Board of Education on May 22, is ready to reset the stability that was shook when the district abruptly accepted the resignation of head coach Greg Rodi just two games into the 2022-23 season.
Joe Nowak stepped in to finish the remainder of the season.
Calhoun does not have to look far, though, to find a blueprint for creating excellence in Aurora.
“When you look at the success of other programs at Aurora, I believer there is a model to follow, and we have the ability to be one of those programs,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun has spent the previous five seasons coaching the Rootstown Rovers boys basketball program. He posted a 34-77 record in that span.
“There really aren’t words that I can use to describe the appreciation of the players that I have had the opportunity to work with over the last five years at Rootstown,” Calhoun said. “While we didn’t always win as many games as we hoped, the relationships that were developed with current and former players is something that I will always cherish.”
Calhoun extended his appreciation to the Rootstown administration group for “taking a chance on a 25-year-old in his first head-coaching position.”
Reflecting back to when he was hired, Calhoun acknowledges that he has learned a lot over the last five years with the Rovers.
“I have grown tremendously as a coach and as a person — thanks to my players,” Calhoun said. “Not only have I been able to gain a better understanding of a variety of X’s and O’s, I have developed a better understanding of the importance of getting to know each of my players on a personal level. I have also been able to understand just how many people it takes to run a successful program. There were so many people that worked with me in order to implement a variety of things like our youth teams, skills camps and middle-school camps.”
At Aurora, that work has immediately begun for Calhoun.
Summer plans are being scheduled and reviewed.
Calhoun will take his Greenmen to the University of Findlay camp, while also scrimmages are pending with other area high schools and the creation of an open-gym schedule, as well a training schedule with strength and conditioning coach Jenna Weking, are in the works.
It all has Calhoun excited to get to work. Just as he was excited about the opportunity to join Aurora.
“The first part that excited me about the position was the reputation of excellence that Aurora has academically, as well as athletically,” Calhoun said. “The next part is the support that the community gives to the school district overall. The last piece was the resources that are available to the program at all levels, from the youth program all the way to the strength and conditioning program.”
Aurora finished the 2022-23 season with a 3-17 overall record and the Greenmen were 2-10 in the Suburban League’s American Conference.