New varsity basketball head coaches for the boys and girls teams were announced at the Barberton School Board Special Meeting July 9.
Kyle McBride will be the next boys’ coach while Ken Rector will take over the girls’ program.
McBride spent the past three seasons as head coach of East Canton, a Division IV team. The Hornets won the district championship in his second season. He previously spent time as an assistant coach at Lake and Canton Central Catholic.
“It will be a culture shock going from Division IV East Canton to Division I Barberton, but it is exciting. I was an assistant coach at Lake for six seasons, and I was a part of their change from mediocrity to now, where they’re competing for district titles year in and year out. I’ve seen how that happens, getting the kids to buy into the offseason workouts and the summer stuff. But then it was kind of a culture shock at East Canton because I went in with all these expectations, but you just don’t have the kids or the numbers to do those things.”
Discipline was the biggest factor to McBride in what he’ll change at Barberton. “We want to bring back disciplined basketball, I’m a disciplinarian. I’ll sacrifice a win or two if it means that kid learns that he can’t get a technical foul, shows up a referee or (plays) dirty. I think that’s one of the worst things a basketball team can be called, is dirty. There’s nothing better than beating a team by 20, not saying a word about it and cleaning up your bench and walking out. That’s called getting your butt kicked, that’s great.”
“At East Canton we couldn’t even have cuts, we didn’t have enough kids. How can you hold the kids accountable when everyone makes the team? We’ve been talking about discipline, how do we get the kids to follow our expectations and play disciplined basketball? The Barberton name is bold, if you’re going to say you’re the Magics, you have to be disciplined.”
Rector returns to coaching after three years away from the Magics’ boys team. He spent 20 years with the program and went 314-134 with three Suburban League and five Western Reserve Conference championships. His teams also won three district titles and were the regional runner-up once. He entered the Barberton Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Greater Akron Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
McBride will take over the position after Jack Greynolds Jr. coached the team for three seasons, while Rector will replace Greg Whitmer, who coached the girls for six seasons. Both coaches resigned this summer.