After 19 years at Hawken, Shawn McGregor will patrol the sideline as the head coach of Kirtland’s boys’ basketball team next winter.
McGregor on Wednesday was approved by the Kirtland Board of Education to fill the position vacated by Nick Gallo.
“It’s a great place and a great community to be a part of,” McGregor said. “My wife and I moved into the area five years ago and it’s a good opportunity for me to be a bigger part of that. I have young kids and that’s where they’ll go to school. That was a big driving force and I’m really excited to be able to be a part of the community and the school system.”
McGregor spent his first five years at Hawken as an assistant coach and the last 14 as the head coach.
He won’t have to learn many faces or names as Hawken and Kirtland both play in the Chagrin Valley Conference and have competed against each other for the CVC Valley Division title the past few years.
“We’ve obviously had our battles with Kirtland at Hawken,” McGregor said. “It’s a competitive school. The athletics are great and the academics are great. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
The Hornets return a host of experience from the team that finished 13-10 overall and 10-4 in league play.
“Being a part of the conference, I know they have 10 seniors coming back and a lot of talent from the kids that were on their JV and freshmen level,” McGregor said. “It’s an experience-laden team with a lot of returning guys with varsity experience on a team that was very talented.”
McGregor, who was 182-134 in his time at Hawken, plans to use that talent to his advantage.
“We’re going to let them loose,” he said. “We’re going to be aggressive and physical. Defensively, we’re going to extend the floor. I just want to let the kids compete and have fun doing it. We’re going to keep the floor spread and push the pace both offensively and defensively and let their athleticism take over. Kirtland is a perfect fit for a lot of the things I like to get accomplished.”