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(UPDATED 8:45pm 5/5/22)
McClain boys basketball coach Joe B. Stewart has announced on his Facebook page that he is stepping down after four seasons of leading the Tigers program.
In 31 years of coaching, Stewart’s record is (376-307)
“This morning, I informed Mr. Bolender, my staff, and returning players at McClain of my decision not to return as coach next year. On several occasions during my travel with Athletes In Action, I have heard International Director Eric Nelson speak on the importance of “Coaching Self” in order to have the ability to successfully lead others authentically. One of the concepts I teach in our program is my father’s mantra that “Satisfaction is the enemy of improvement.” The calendar turning to May is the normal time I find myself reenergized for another year of leading young men at McClain Boys Basketball on a journey to living their best self and chasing excellence in a way that represents our school and community in a class manner on the basketball floor. But what I have found, instead, is a deep and real satisfaction looking back over the four year mission began May 20, 2018, with my hiring to rebuild our McClain Basketball program to a place of pride in our community and respect throughout southern Ohio.”
Stewart also stated in his Facebook post: “The memories I share with them and the satisfaction I feel with their growth and accomplishments as people, athletes, and teams that came together unselfishly to accomplish deeds greater than the sum of the parts provides me with a contentment that I have delivered on those promises made four years ago. The experience of celebrating a District championship as a Tiger player in 1975 and then as a Tiger coach 47 years later for me completes a long journey in a rewarding way. I believe that peace of mind is rarely found in a past remembered, or a future imagined; rather, it is found in our willingness to embrace the gift of living in the present moment with the knowledge that we have done our best to be the best we are capable of becoming as we walk through doors opened by Christ. In so doing, I’m especially appreciative of the love and sacrifices of my wife, Debbi Hollar Stewart. There would be no Coach Stewart without Debbi Stewart and I believe there are roles and goals ahead that will be fulfilling and valuable. I am forever grateful to have served my alma mater, our School of Beauty, as Head Basketball Coach and the support I have received from all ages throughout Tiger Nation.”
Stewart led the 2021-22 Tigers to the FAC championship and a Regional Semifinal appearance, where they fell to the eventual regional champ Waverly Tigers in overtime.
Stewart finishes a coaching career at his alma mater, having also made coaching stops that included Piketon, Hillsboro, Chillicothe, Edgewood, Madison Plains and Southern State College.
Honors and Awards
*Highland County, Ohio, Athletic Hall of Fame, Induction June 2019.
*Ohio H.S. Basketball Coaches Association District 14 Hall of Fame, Induction March 2014.
*Associated Press Ohio Division II Coach of the Year, 1989, Hillsboro High School.
*Associated Press Southeastern District Coach of the Year, McClain High School, 2019 & 2022;
*Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association District 14 All Star Game Coach, 2019; 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1990, 1989, 1988.
*Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association, Century Club Recognition, 300 Victories, 2017.
*Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association District 14 Coach of the Year, McClain High School, 2019; Chillicothe H.S.; 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992; Hillsboro H,S. 1989, 1988.
*Ohio Senate Recognition for Coaching Leadership; McClain High School, 2019; Hillsboro High School, 1989;
*District Champions: 2022 McClain High School, 1993 Chillicothe HS, 1986 Piketon High School.
*Sectional Champions: 2022 McClain HS, 2006 Hillsboro High School, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992 Chillicothe High School, 1988 Hillsboro High School, 1986 Piketon High School.
*Varsity Coaching Record: (376-307), 31 year total; 17 former assistant coaches or players have become head basketball coaches.