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Brad Venham takes over for Amy Way as Warren girls basketball coach

Photo by Kerry Patrick New Warren girls head basketball coach Brad Venham makes his debut during an introductory press conference Tuesday at Warren High School in Vincent.

VINCENT — Brad Venham is passionate about girls basketball — at any level.

Combined with his deep background in Warren Warrior athletics, that’s why choosing Venham as the successor for the Warren High School girls varsity basketball coach was essentially a no-brainer.

Less than 24 hours after the school board approved his hiring, Warren athletic director Steve Harold formally introduced Venham into his new position at a press conference inside the school’s commons area.

Prior to last season as an assistant coach with the Warren boys basketball program under Blaine Maddox, Venham spent two seasons as the assistant coach to then-Warren girls basketball coach Amy Way.

The 2022-23 girls basketball season will mark Venham’s first as a high school varsity coach following years of working with youth sports in the school system.

“Yes, it is a little nervewracking — as one coach said, when you move down one seat a lot of things are different,” Venham said “But I have a great staff in the works and once it’s finalized we should have tremendous help with the program.

“From both of their coaching perspectives, the hard work and hard style of play you see from both teams … we are going to continue that.”

The takeaways from having worked under Way and Maddox are invaluable. Venham, who is a 2001 Warren graduate, was on Way’s staff when Warren posted a 23-2 record during the 2019-20 season. Venham’s ties with Maddox extend as far back as Venham’s junior year on the basketball team when Maddox made his debut as the Warrior head coach.

“Was it a tough decision to leave the Warren boys basketball program after last season — absolutely,” Venham said. “Warren girls basketball is where my heart lays. Last year helped me solidify that. I can’t be more excited.”

Venham noted the graduation of All-Ohio Division II second team selection Abbie Smith creates a well-documented void because of her presence in the post. Moving forward, Venham will work with the personnel returning and any newcomers who provide a new dimension. His stresses that his ‘bulldog mentality” will carry over to his players.

“When I played basketball in high school, coaches deemed me ‘bulldog’ because of how I played,” Venham said. “That’s the mentality of how we we will continue to play. We will be all over the floor, we will be taking charges. I think people are going to want and come watch us play.”

Coach Venham and his wife, Dawn, have four children — Kali (18), Jaxon (13), Josie (12) and Ryan (8). His daughters also have their father’s passion for the women’s game. When the March Madness family challenge rolls around, brackets for the women’s field are also in play.

Venham takes over a ballclub which finished 18-7 last season and advanced to the regional finals.

“The girls who know me, know the style I like to play — they will tell you I am probably the loudest one in the gym and I like to have fun while we are doing it,” Venham said. “I love this school, I love this community and can’t wait to get to work.”

Contact Kerry Patrick at kpatrick@newsandsentinel.com

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