Daniel Collie ready to lead Catholic boys hoops

PARKERSBURG — Daniel Collie is ready for whatever challenges are ahead as the new head boys basketball coach at Parkersburg Catholic High School.

The 2012 PCHS graduate was recently named as the successor for former Crusader head man Rob Strcula.

“I always had in the back of my mind I wanted to coach and coach high school basketball,” admitted Collie, who played four years of hoops at Wright State University, graduated with a degree in accounting and works for the family business Architectural Interior Products. “I didn’t know if I was going to start as a travel coach or an elementary coach or what.”

After earning his degree, Collie worked at the former AIP office in Bristol, Virginia, but moved back to the area in March with wife Elizabeth and 2-year-old daughter Eleanor.

“We moved back into town and caught word Rob was hanging it up,” Collie noted. “I thought I didn’t know when another opportunity was going to come to be a high school head basketball coach in the area, especially at the school I played for. My younger brother, Xavier, will be a senior this season.

“That was another big draw. I’d get to coach him in his final run. I feel that I have a lot of knowledge of the game and I can give back and I think I can be successful. I want to try and help develop the program and help develop the school and just give back.”

With plenty of time to figure out his coaching staff, Collie has been happy just to have the opportunity to be with his players in the gym.

Despite being a late hire in terms of the three-week summer coaching period, the new Crusader boss was able to contact his players. They were in the gym a couple of times last week and will be in their working out three times this week.

“Playing four years of Division I basketball was an opportunity I didn’t think I’d get in high school after four years of that,” admitted the coach. “I took it in like a sponge. I think I need to try and give a little bit of that knowledge back at the school.

“My wife and I decided we wanted to be closer to both of our families and she’s from the Cleveland area. We were sure the grandparents wanted to see her (Eleanor) and we thought it was the best move in the long run.”

Amanda Weatherwax, the dean of students/athletic director for PCHS, expressed in a release from the school “I am looking forward to working with coach Collie and seeing what he has in store for our program. It’s an added bonus to have another PC alumni returning to give back to our community.”

Even though he’s only 26 and already has started a family, Collie felt being mature for his age was definitely helpful when it came to getting the job.

“I was extremely excited,” he said of getting the confirmation call of his hire. “I’m eager I guess to get back on the court. I haven’t played much basketball or watched a ton of it in person since I graduated college.”

Of course, with the ongoing pandemic there are lots of questions yet to be answered.

However, Collie is hoping for the best and is ready for all the upcoming challenges of being a first-time head coach.

“Part of me thinks with all the COVID stuff it will be easy for the state just to wipe their hands and say no winter sports or fall sports,” he added. “I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. If it does life goes on.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com


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