John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Shelbyville basketall has landed a Hott prospect for their next head coach, Stu Hott.
Like their last coach, Mike Steers, Hott has connections to former successful coaches at Shelbyville. Hott's wife, Carole (Hulick) Hott, is a native of Shelbyville.
Hott taught at Shelbyville and coached at Shelbyville under Jim Egan. Egan took the Rams to two regional titles in three years and to State. Hott was also on the committee to hire Sean Taylor, who led Shelbyville to a state championship.
Hott is a former SHS head baseball coach and JV basketball coach, a head baseball and JV basketball coach at Dieterich, and a head baseball and JV basketball coach at Tri-City. He was a math and P.E. instructor, as well as a coach at all three districts and was the Shelbyville Moulton Middle School principal for three years, before becoming the Sullivan High School principal from 1994-2011.
Most recently Hott, retired as the principal at Sullivan High School, was the coach for the Shelbyville Moulton 7th grade basketball team. It gave us a glimpse into his style of coaching.
"I was happy doing the 7th grade," Hott said. "I was happy getting kids started right and teaching them fundamentals."
Hott didn't just get the starters on the right track, he got the whole team. He would send in waves of substitutes like a hockey coach who sends in whole line changes. He managed games extremely well and got as many players quality floor time as possible.
Hott is a teacher on the court and excellent administrator of all his assets, not just your run-of-the-mill basketball coach. And, even though he has never held a head coaching position, he knows basketball.
"I'm looking forward to it," Coach Hott said. "I'm excited. The kids are, too. When a coach leaves, the team is in limbo. Now, we know what we can do and we're going forward."
Coach Hott knows the team he has next year will be different from last year's senior-heavy team that earned one of the few winning seasons in several years. The Rams are in the tough Okaw Valley Conference and they always compete, but have not always had the success they wanted in the win column.
Last year, Steers, in just his second year at the helm, accomplished that, with a big post man and a cadre of seniors. They will graduate and Hott will be rebuilding.
"It will be a different team," Hott said. "We have a little work to do before next year. We know we lost our big post and five senior starters. We have all the other coaching staff back and that's huge."
Kyle Ladd (SHS) will coach the JV again, Neil Compton (SHS) will coach the freshmen, and Roger Jones (SHS) will coach the 8th grade.
Hott will have one advantage over Coach Steers. He lives three blocks away from the school and substitute teaches a couple days a week, so he will have more contact with the kids in the halls, as well as at practice.
What can we expect from the 2013 Rams?
"It will depend on who will come out," Coach Hott said. "We are going to have to create our own shots with pick and roll and pick and pop. We will still use some of the plays from last year, that weren't predicated on going to the big man. We will extend the floor more.
"I like to press and fast break and play a lot of kids," Coach Hott said. "Hopefully, we can play eight, nine, or ten guys, depending on who has the ability to play at the varsity level."
Will it be like how he coached the 7th grade?
"Very much so," Coach Hott said, "only more complicated at the varsity level. We're going to have to work for a shot and make it a good one. We'll isolate a guy or isolate two guys against one man or three guys against two. I'm a Phil Jackson fan and fan of the triangle offense, which was really Tex Winter's offense."
Recent Shelbyville coaches have stressed being in better shape than their opponents and an emphasis on defense. Shelbyville's defense this last season was the hallmark of their success.
"Defense gives you the best chance to win," Coach Hott said. "Our kids 7th-12th grade know how to play man-to-man. That will continue. We'll have to play man-to-man and, against certain teams, have to play some match-up zones. It depends on the personnel."
Offense will be a different story.
"How will we get our scoring?" Hott said. "That will be our challenge as a coaching staff. But on the other hand our opponents won't know either."
What about conditioning?
"In today's game you gotta be in shape," Hott said. "Today's kids are in better shape and they know more about nutrition and diet."
What about scouting?
"I coached the dads of a lot of the kids that are coming up," Hott said. "Some of the dads will do scouting. It's nice coming back to where you've been before and have those connections."
Coach Hott already has plans for this summer. There will be a 3rd-8th grade basketball camp the last week of May. High school camp will be in June. There is a Pana Shootout in June and a Maroa night league with at least two games a night.
"We may even scrimmage Rochester once or twice, since we know the coach at Rochester (former coach Mike Steers)." Hott said. "We'll be in the gym with the kids for 20 contact days and put our offense in."