Clayton, Ohio —- On Wednesday afternoon, Northmont athletic director Micah Harding officially named Darnell Hoskins Sr. the new head boys basketball coach for the Thunderbolts. Hoskins was previously the head coach at Middletown. He assembled very successful coaching staff as his former assistants, Steve Pittman and Shawn McCullough, are now both head coaches in the GWOC at Beavercreek and Springfield. Before accepting the Middletown job, Hoskins had an extremely successful six-year run as the head coach at Thurgood Marshall.
Former Middletown assistant and current Springfield head coach Shawn McCullough during a tournament game last season
During that run at Thurgood, Hoskins led the Cougars to multiple final four appearances in 2011 and 2014. During that 2014 season, the Cougars finished just short in the state title game.
Hoskins will join two of his former assistants in the GWOC as new coaches as Steve Pittman enters his third season at Beavercreek and Shawn McCullough will be going into his second season over at Springfield. Both coaches were assistants under Hoskins at Middletown.
Former Middletown assistant and current Beavercreek head coach Steve Pittman during a tournament game last season
Other new coaches in the GWOC will include Brett Kostoff who will be entering just his second season at Springboro and Kenny Molz who will leading the Fairmont Firebirds for the third straight year this season.
The final two candidates in the race were Darnell Hoskins and former Wayne boys coach and current Wayne girls head coach Travis Trice. Trice has had a lot of success coaching in the GWOC over the last ten years on both the boys and girls side. Despite this, Hoskins was ultimately named as the candidate that was chosen.
The program that Hoskins will be inheriting has been full of struggles the last couple of seasons. Although Northmont has had the talent to have successful teams, this hasn’t been able to translate into wins.
Darnell Hosksins coaching a game for Middletown in Feburary of 2019 (VIA: Journal-News)
Following the shocking firing of legendary coach Jim Brown in 2013, the Thunderbolts have had trouble fully recovering. Many questioned the decision as Brown turned a struggling Northmont program into a constant threat in the GWOC.
Collin Abels became the new head coach for the T-Bolts directly after Brown and was at the helm for five seasons before resigning in 2018. Abels led Northmont to a conference title in 2017 as they finished the year 20-5 behind a big season from current Univeristy of Dayton guard Christian Wilson.
After Abels resigned, Shane Kincer was named the new head coach in May of 2018. In his first season in 2018-19, the T-Bolts went just 7-16. Then after the eventual GWOC player of the year Prophet Johnson transferred to Thurgood Marshall, Northmont struggled. They went 1-22 in 2020 and then 6-15 this past season.
Hoskins looks to do the same as Jim Brown and turn around a struggling Northmont program as they’ve won just fourteen games over the past three seasons. As for the program itself, Northmont will graduate its two best players from this past season as Patrick Ivory and Jordan Smith both averaged double digits in scoring.
Graduating senior Patrick Ivory was second for Northmont in scoring this past season as he averaged 13.3 PPG
They will bring back a pair of solid guards in senior Brandon Pooler and junior Tyrin Sturdivant. Incoming freshman D.J. Williams will also be a name to watch for over the next couple of years.
With the announcement of Darnell Hoskins becoming the new head coach, some new names are sure to find their way on the Thunderbolts roster next season. With some of the best athletic facilities in all of Dayton, a rising Northmont program isn’t just positive for the GWOC but the Dayton basketball community as a whole.