Most coaches, at any level in every sport, join the profession to make a difference in the lives of young men and women. But sometimes, even coaching doesn’t completely fulfill a person’s desire to enhance those lives. So, many coaches begin looking for opportunities that will take advantage of their natural abilities to reach a broader audience, which will allow them to ameliorate problems within their respective sport.
Former Wheelersburg boys basketball coach Tom Barrick is an example of someone who has devoted himself to improving the lives of his players. However, after spending 19 seasons on the Pirates’ bench, Barrick’s mission wasn’t over once he retired.
Since he walked away from coaching, Barrick has spent the last three years as the Ohio State Coaches Association president. But instead of being content serving in a state role, Barrick had bigger aspirations for himself but more importantly, for the state of Ohio, which finally came to fruition.
Barrick has been named to a nine-member executive board at the National High School Basketball Coaches Association (NHSBCA).
According to the NHSBCA website, the National High School Basketball Coaches Association is an alliance among the leaders of State Basketball Coaches Associations, linking their respective associations in an effort to provide a national voice for high school basketball coaches.
Their mission statement is to help mentor and assist coaches and players in learning and teaching the game.
“That is our goal as a national organization, help the state organizations spread ideas and promote the game of basketball,” Barrick said. “High school sports are very important and community sports are very important. But there are a lot of concerns right now, we are here to help those concerns.”
There are currently 33 states involved in the NHSBCA with Ohio being the third largest state association, as far as total memberships. However, until Barrick’s appointment, Ohio has never had a representative serve in a leadership role in the national association.
“The state of Ohio has been very active in the national organization,” Barrick said. “Our state leaders wanted someone to get involved at the executive level. Having past experiences with the state, it was something that I pursed.
“They (NHSBCA) have some tremendous leaders and some tremendous coaches. I still serve in a number of different roles here at the state level, but the thing Ohio wanted to do was become more involved at that level; more than just being an active member. We haven’t had a leadership role there. We’ve had a representative there but we haven’t had an officer there or someone on the executive board ever before.”
One of those current roles Barrick has held for the past eight years. Barrick serves has the academic all-Ohio chairman, which recognizes all of the academic all-Ohio honorees as well as teams that are recognized for their achievements in the classroom. He plans on continuing to serve in that capacity while also attempting to discover other ways he can offer his assistance.
And like he has done at the local and state levels, he wants to continue to recognize achievements while continuing to build relationships through the national association.
With Barrick’s new position at the NHSBCA, he wants the Ohio State Coaches Association to continue being proactive while taking more of a leadership role on the national stage.
“I want to get Ohio more involved in the decision-making process,” Barrick said. “We do things here in Ohio that might benefit other associations across the country.”
According to Barrick, there are a lot of key issues that face high-school athletics across the country. This collaborative effort between state associations and the National High School Basketball Coaches Association allows many different viewpoints and opinions to be expressed.
“It’s an organization that is the voice for coaches’ associations across the country,” Barrick said.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.