By David Fong
Regional Sports Editor
TROY — Mark Hess came to Troy looking for a job, but hopes he’s found a home.
Hess — who spent the past five years as the Beavercreek boys basketball coach — recently was hired to coach the Troy boys basketball program. He’ll take over for Paul Bremigan, who stepped down in late February after leading the Trojans the past four seasons. Hess is hoping to plant roots in Troy and have a lengthy career with the Trojans.
“My fiancee and I are getting married in August, so we’ve had a lot going on the past nine months,” Hess said. “We just had our engagement, and now we are house shopping. My fiancee has been a real blessing through all of this. She’s supported me 100 percent. We are ready to start the next chapter of our lives now. We want to start our new lives and then hopefully start our family in Troy.”
Hess is a 2003 graduate of Ashland High School and a 2007 graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, where he was a three-time team captain and two-time most valuable player for the men’s basketball team.
“We are very excited to have Mark Hess join the Trojan Family at Troy High School,” Troy High School principal David Dilbone said. “He has a passion for teaching and connecting with students that will make him a valuable part of our school community.”
Hess began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Willard and Olentangy Liberty high schools. He spent two years as the head coach at Hilliard Darby High School near Columbus before taking over at Beavercreek in 2014. In five seasons coaching the Beavers, he went 37-79, including an 8-15 mark this past winter.
“Mark’s level of experience and preparation, along with his enthusiasm and vision for the basketball program, from the youth through varsity, made him a logical choice to be the next head coach for the Troy boys’ basketball program,” Troy High School athletic director David Palmer said. “He is passionate about developing players of high character, establishing a positive culture through hard work and commitment and building relationships with his players on and off the court. I am excited to see how our basketball program grows under Mark’s leadership.”
Beavercreek played Troy in each of Hess’ first two seasons — beating Troy by four points each time — and Hess said he was impressed with what he saw out of the Trojans at the time. Hess said he knows about the program and is looking forward to taking over and leaving his mark.
“One of the first people I met when I became the coach at Beavercreek was Brooks Hall, who obviously is ‘Mr. Troy’ when it comes to basketball,” Hess said of Hall, Troy’s all-time leading scorer. “I talked to him a lot about the history at Troy and the athletes they’ve had come through the program.
“I’ve been watching some film of Troy when they played common opponents and the big thing I noticed was that they may not always have a lot of size, but the kids always play hard and they always battle. To me, that’s what has always been associated with Troy. They are always blue collar competitors — and I think you can be successful with that.”
He also said the Troy community reminds him a lot of his hometown of Ashland.
“I love it,” he said. “I also went to a high school with about 1,200 kids. It’s a good-sized city, but it’s also got that small-community feel. Everyone knows each other and people in the community take a lot of pride in their school. It’s been impressive the number of people from Troy who have already reached out to me to welcome me.”
Hess said he plans on meeting with his future players and their families as soon as possible, then plans on getting down to work immediately. He’ll also be a math teacher at Troy High School beginning this fall.
“I’ve always been a big-time grinder,” he said. “I love going in and working hard. I want to meet with the kids and their parents and start forming relationships. From there, I can’t wait to get to work. I’m ready to get things started.”
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong