By Josh Brown
BRANDT — The name Kopp is seen a lot in Bethel High School history.
Now, someone who helped write some of that history is looking to add a few more chapters.
Brett Kopp — a Bethel High School graduate who played for the state championship boys basketball team in 2001 — was named the new boys basketball coach last week and was officially approved on Monday night.
“It’s been very a very interesting — and very busy — week,” Kopp said with a laugh. “I’m filled with excitement, though. Like I said on my Facebook, a status doesn’t do justice to my excitement. And I’m usually pretty good with words, too.”
Kopp graduated from Bethel in 2003 after playing for many successful Bees teams. He was a four-year letterwinner in baseball, a three-year letterwinner in football and a two-year letterwinner in basketball. Three times, he played for district runner-up baseball teams, and twice he played for playoff football teams.
And in 2001, he was part of history — as a member of the state championship boys basketball team.
“It’s always nice to go home,” Kopp said. “As a freshman and a sophomore in high school, and especially the year we won the state title, I always thought that this would be a great place to coach basketball. And the community around Bethel has always been so great to my whole family. I don’t want to say all of that makes it sweeter (than his other county coaching jobs), because I love them all, but it definitely does make it more interesting.”
He graduated from both Sinclair Community College and Urbana University, and has been an assistant coach in Miami County in the years since — both as an offensive coordinator at Milton-Union High School and as the freshman and then JV boys basketball coach at Troy High School.
“All of those jobs have helped to prepare me for different things,” Kopp said. “I’ve had really good guys to learn from in (Bret) Pearce at Milton and (Tim) Miller at Troy, as well as all of my high school coaches. I always paid attention to all of the extra things, the behind-the-scenes things, my coaches did in high school because I knew it was something I wanted to do. I think it’s all prepared me for what I need to do now.”
And Kopp is working to make sure that history and tradition remains part of Bethel basketball — and he’s using social media to help by starting an account on Twitter, @BethelBHoops and encouraging alumni to use it to get in touch with current players and staff and help them follow the team.
“Getting the alumni back and involved, that’s always something I’ve thought of,” Kopp said. “We’ve had some great coaches and players in the past. I’d like to get in touch with them, get them to come out to some practices and games.
“Everyone’s got a passion for where they came from. I have kids today that want to break this or that record, or win a state title. This way, I can get guys, they guys that set those records or that they watched win a state title, to come in and talk to them about what it took to win that title or to get to 1,00o career points or anything else.”
Two years ago, Bethel was ranked in the top 10 in the state in Division IV but was unable to get out of its loaded sectional. Last season, the Bees once again had a solid team but again lost in the sectional semifinal round.
Kopp is looking to change that.
“I’m just excited,” he said. “I’m excited to get the job, and I’m ready to get to work and bring Bethel basketball back to where it was when I was in high school. I’m so excited that it’s made me bad with words. I’m just excited to get to work with these kids.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 532-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.