Thursday, September 23, 2021

Bell, Force named GCBCA Coaches of the Year

INDEPENDENCE—Kirtland’s Bob Bell and North’s Paul Force were among the coaches honored during the Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches’ Association awards dinner at Harry’s Steakhouse in Independence on Thursday.

Force was named the Division I Girls Basketball Coach of the Year while Bell earned the Division II-IV Girls Basketball Coach of the year award.

“It’s an honor, quite humbling to me as I know we have a lot of great programs and coaches here in Northeast Ohio,” said Force, who led the Rangers to a 21-4 record and the Western Reserve Conference championship. “To me, our 2018 season was a result of having a great coaching staff and a great group of kids. I’m only as good as the people who are around me and having a consistent, caring staff and a group of seven seniors who bought into our message and helped establish a ‘family culture’ played a big role in the season we had.”

North won a sectional title and advanced to the Perry District championship game.

Bell led the Hornets to a 23-1 record, which included a 22-0 regular season and a Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division championship.

“It means a lot,” Bell said of receiving the award. “I think anytime you win an award like this that has been voted on by your peers, the other coaches in the Greater Cleveland area, it does mean a lot. It’s humbling and I certainly appreciate it, but I can’t say that without giving any credible amount of credit to my players and the overall support from the Kirtland community as well.”

The full list of GCBCA award winners is below:

Dennis Lustig Golden Deeds Award:

  • Dave Murphy, Cleveland Central Catholic Girls Basketball
  • Ray Durban, East Tech Boys Basketball

GCBCA Media Award Winner:

  • Dom Dipasqua, Sun News/Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School

GCBCA Coaches of the Year:

  • Division I Boys: Tony Decesare, Solon High School
  • Division I Girls: Paul Force, Eastlake North High School
  • Division II-IV Boys: Jeff Huber, Holy Name High School
  • Division II-IV Girls: Bob Bell, Kirtland High School
Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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