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Call it a comeback: Jarrod Haines returns to sideline as new McClain boys basketball head coach 

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Jarrod Haines. (Submitted photo)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

The McClain Tigers have a new head coach at the varsity level for boys basketball, and it is a familiar face … that being Jarrod Haines, who coached the girls program for a decade and is currently the assistant principal at McClain High School. 

Haines brings a wealth of coaching experience and knowledge to the McClain program, replacing Mike Noszka after one season at the helm of MHS. Haines is McClain’s fourth head coach in as many seasons, as Joe B. Stewart stepped down after the 2021-22 season after being the head coach for four seasons. Bobby Williams was then head coach in 2022-23, and Noszka led the program this past season. 

During their 2023-24 campaign, McClain finished 0-10 in the Frontier Athletic Conference and were 5-18 overall.

“I want to get back involved with coaching at the boys level, to get the program back to a consistent program. I have a passion for this school, the students and this community I call home,” Haines said. “This senior class will have had four coaches in four years.”

Having consistency at the top is important for any basketball program, as Haines hopes to get the program going forward, and that takes consistency. 

“To build a program, there has to be more consistency. I am already in the district and have a relationship with the kids and the community,” Haines said. “The process was simple — I thought that this is something that was best for the kids. 

“I have started putting a staff together that is young, energetic and loves McClain basketball. This time around, my focus just isn't on developing young men and basketball players, but developing young coaches within that can one day take the program over.”

Last spring, Haines stepped down as McClain’s girls varsity head coach after 10 seasons, where his coaching record was 129-92, with seven of his 10 seasons consisting of 13 wins or more. He’s also been a high school varsity head coach for girls golf and softball with successful championship seasons. 

As a softball head coach, Haines’ overall record was 76-35 for five seasons, as the Lady Tigers were two-time conference champions, including one undefeated South Central Ohio League title and two sectional championships. Haines was SCOL coach of the year in ’12. Every season as a softball varsity head coach, the Lady Tigers won no less than 13 games. 

As the girls golf head coach, Haines coached MHS to a 2018 undefeated FAC championship and sectional crown, while the 2017 Lady Tigers were district qualifiers.

The goal is simple for Haines in being the head coach for the Tigers, and that’s to make the boys basketball program competitive.

“The ultimate goal is to get this program back to being competitive,” Haines said. “This obviously will not happen overnight. To build a house, you have to set the foundation first. We have to start at the bottom and work from the ground up. I have been blessed to work with a lot of the players already in our youth program.”

When the Tigers are competitive, there isn’t a more exciting place to watch — or a tougher place to play — a high school basketball game than McClain Gym, and Haines is looking forward to being a part of that excitement.  

“I am looking forward to the excitement that surrounds McClain basketball,” he said. “The fact that I get to coach on the same sidelines that Coach Rick Van Matre once did is neat. I want these young kids to understand the history and rich tradition that surrounds our program. Some of them can remember the success that the class of 2022 had, so they have had a taste of it.  

“I don't view this job as ‘my program,’ because it is this community's team, and I look forward to thriving off of their energy and excitement. I always received community support as the coach for the girls. I feel my coaching style will remain similar. I have always demanded hard work and discipline. The speed of the game may change, but playing with grit and toughness will not.”

Haines ended by talking about his family and his support group within the school district. 

“I wouldn't be able to do this without the support of my wife Michele and my son Ezra and daughter Libby. They are by far my biggest fans,” Haines said. “I would like to thank (athletic director) Tim Bolender and the administration for believing in me. I have already received tons of community support. I also want to thank God for continuing to open doors for me to lead.” 

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James Burton (not verified)

22 May 2024

Congratulations to Jarrod Haines on his newest appointment as head coach of the McClain boys basketball program. McClain’s board of education and administration already knows what Jarrod will bring to the table with his positive, servant and strong leadership. Tally marks in the win column are always nice but outcomes of growing respective and fine young men is much more important than the W. I’m from Hillsboro but I’ll say this …. GO TIGERS and go Jarrod Haines!

Michael Seely (not verified)

7 June 2024

You will do great Jarrod, happy for you and happy for our Tiger basketball program.

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