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Troyer named Squire basketball head coach

COACH: Manchester’s Josh Troyer (left) talks to a pair of Squires during a JV game in the Wabash County Tournament.

BY JACOB RUDE - sports@wabashplaindealer.com

Josh Troyer had dreamt of one day taking over the reins of a varsity basketball program. What that dream didn’t include, though, was a return home as well.

On Tuesday, Troyer was officially named new head coach of Manchester’s girls’ basketball program at the school board for Manchester Community Schools, allowing him to return to his alma mater.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Troyer said. “I always wanted to be a varsity basketball coach and for it to be at your home school makes it that much sweeter. When I first came back, I was always excited for the first game in the gym that I grew up in and now that I’m actually the varsity coach, it’s a pretty neat feeling.”

Troyer had stops around the area before landing at Manchester as the JV coach within the Squire program. There, he forged a friendship with Jacob Everett, the varsity coach, that continued to grow throughout the seasons.

Likewise, as Troyer gained more experience, his role within the program continued to grow. When Everett stepped down as head coach to take the role as assistant principal at Tippecanoe Valley earlier this summer, Troyer was ready to step in.

“It’s something Jake and I had talked about really for a couple of years,” Troyer said of becoming a head coach. “Just ‘Hey, would you be interested if I ever do leave?’ He (knew) he probably wasn’t going to do it forever so my role kept growing. I’m thankful for Jake for that for allowing me to take on a greater responsibility every year I’ve been there. That just helped get prepared for when it finally did become official.

“It’s a great feeling but also not getting to coach with a friend is just kind of different, too. I’m always thankful for the relationship we have. It just will be different without him there for sure.”

Because of the close bond the two developed, Troyer and Everett shared many of the same philosophies that will carry over into Troyer’s tenure in charge.

“We’re both ones where we’ll tweak stuff to the strength of our players,” Troyer said of he and Everett. “I think our players’ strengths are different last year than they were this year so we’ll definitely be doing some things differently. But I think it’s all stuff they already kind of knew. Since the start of summer at team camp, we’ve been preparing for what next year would look if I were head coach or even if I were JV (coach). They’re already kind of ready for what we’re going to bring in place.”

Everett resurrected the Squire program during his tenure, reaching double-figure wins each of the last three seasons capped off with a 17-win season last year with a share of the Three Rivers Conference title thrown in.

Troyer, though, served as JV head coach for the last handful of seasons with Everett. After Everett stepped down early this summer, Troyer served as the interim head coach throughout for the Squires, guiding them through team camp, summer leagues and shootouts.

Troyer helped prepare the Squires for a potential transition whether it included him taking over or maintaining the same role as last season. Him stepping into the head coaching role, though, further eases the transition into a new era of Manchester basketball.

“That was one thing, more than anything, that really made me want to apply and to do it was just the relationships I’ve built with a lot of our players, even the incoming freshmen,” Troyer said. “I think it’s a nice transition because Jake and I were similar in styles. It’s not anything we’re going to do next year is out of the box or something we haven’t done before. It’s stuff that they’re already used to. We’ll keep the pillar program going and, if anything, we’ll be expanding it. The girls just kind of know what to expect from myself as a coach and what our staff we’ll be asking of them.”

Troyer will maintain his role as girls’ golf head coach this fall, a program he has guided to success in recent years. The Squires have won four-straight Wabash County Invitational titles and four-consecutive conference titles with Troyer in charge.