By DAVE HANNEMAN
McCOMB — McComb will have a new boys basketball coach this season with the recent announcement that Aaron Roth, who followed a Hall of Fame career at the University of Findlay with a 200-win coaching career, is stepping down after 17 seasons as the Panthers’ head coach.
“It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make,” Roth said Monday from Myrtle Beach, S.C., where the family was on vacation.
“I spent 17 years at McComb. I had two kids graduate there. I really enjoyed coaching at McComb and it became a part of who I am.”
Roth, who was head coach and athletics director his first 10 years at McComb, taught business classes since 2008. He is leaving McComb to teach in the marketing education department at Millstream Career Center.
“Every time I heard anything about Millstream and Findlay schools, I was impressed,” Roth said. “I think it’s a great opportunity.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. But an opportunity came open at Millstream. It was a matter of what’s best for my family and my future.”
Roth was a Class A all-Ohio guard out of Sandusky St. Marys in 1985, and an NAIA all-American for the University of Findlay in 1989. He scored 1,823 points during his college career and was inducted into UF’s Hall of Fame in 1999.
Roth was named McComb’s head coach before the 1997-98 season and amassed a 224-161 career record with the Panthers.
He guided McComb to one of its two Blanchard Valley Conference boys basketball championships. That came during the 2010-11 season when the Panthers finished 24-1, their lone loss a 37-34 setback to Continental in the Division IV regional finals.
McComb averaged over 13 wins a season during Roth’s 17 seasons as head coach. More often than not, the Panthers were among the title contenders.
“We were (BVC) runner-up seven times, and when I look back on who we were runners-up to, those were some very good Liberty-Benton and Arlington teams,” Roth said. “We had great kids, and I’m proud of what we accomplished at McComb.”
Roth’s replacement will be the fifth new boys basketball coach among the BVC ranks next season.
Ben Gerken will be replacing Steve Williman at Liberty-Benton; C.J. Holman is taking over for Cara Noel at Arcadia; and Nick Latta, who was an assistant under Roth at McComb, is the new head coach at Cory-Rawson.
North Baltimore, one of three schools joining the BVC this fall, will have a new coach as well with John Kloepfer stepping in for Jon Eichar.
Send an E-mail to Dave Hanneman