The Willard School Board officially made Daniel Cutbirth their new head basketball coach early Friday morning. The current Aurora head coach replaces Lamont Frazier, who left for the same position at Rogers High School in Arkansas last month.
“I’ve wanted that job for well, every since I got into coaching,” said Cutbirth. “There’s something about that community I love. It’s a big district, but not a big town and I’m a small town kid. It’s a good mix of kids (city and rural) and I’m excited about that.”
Cutbirth, who turns 37 on May 10, spent the past six seasons in Aurora, going 76-79. The Houn’ Dawgs had winning seasons each of the past four years after going just 2-22 in Cutbirth’s first year at the helm. Saying farewell to his players Friday morning was a difficult thing to do.
“It’s going to be tough because I’m really close with my kids,” said Cutbirth. “It’s really bittersweet. Willard is an opportunity to better myself and my family, but it’s been difficult and hard.”
Prior to Aurora, Cutbirth coached at his alma mater Hurley where he won a Mark Twain Conference title in 2009-10 and a district title in 2010-11.
The 1998 Hurley alum scored 2,958 points in his prep career before leading Evangel to the NAIA-II national championship in 2002 where the two-time All-American was named tournament MVP.
Willard is coming off a district championship last season, going 18-10. The Tigers lose All-COC Large 2nd team selection Houston Johnson but return 3rd team selection Kenny Chambers.