Combs High School's new boys varsity basketball coach is not only changing the San Tan Valley team’s game, but their culture.
A former manager at Honeywell Aerospace, Hosea Graham came out of retirement to start coaching at Combs. He said he wants the team to not just participate, but to compete. With 18 years of coaching experience, his teams have made it to 12 state playoffs and two state championship appearances.
“My goal for the very first year is to change the culture from participating into competing,” Graham said. “And in order to do that, you have to help kids understand what’s the difference. There has to be commitment, there has to be an urgency. You create standards and expectations.”
He heard about the job through the athletic director at Combs. Graham was excited about the opportunity to be the head varsity basketball coach because of his passion for the sport and coaching. He played basketball throughout high school and college and the sport gave him life opportunities that he may not have otherwise had.
Graham enjoys coaching high school because of the support and direction that he feels he can give the boys on his team. His coaching philosophy extends beyond the court and to the character of his players. Instilling the values of discipline, communication and commitment will not only help with basketball–but all throughout life.
“(My philosophy) has always been coaching the heart behind the jersey,” Graham said.
He believes that the new competitive spirit and confidence instilled in the team will take their competitors by surprise. So far, Graham has seen the team embrace the power of the team over the power of the individual.
“I’m so proud of them, they are really working hard. I’ve been telling them, ‘If we meet expectations, we’re failing, our goal is to always exceed expectations.’ That’s something they can carry on in their life,” Graham said.