Bob Eidson has balked at taking the Buccaneers’ varsity boys basketball job twice before.
This time, he’s decided to accept the challenge.
Eidson, who has coached Grand Haven’s junior varsity boys basketball squad the past 28 years, was named interim varsity head coach on Wednesday. Eidson takes over for Steve Hewitt, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.
“I’m really excited,” Eidson said. “I love coaching. I’ve done it way too long not to. I don’t like the circumstances, but at the same time, I think Steve would have liked it this way.
“This is a great group of kids, and I know them. I think they felt like this was the best way to keep some continuity going for this group, rather than bringing in somebody who has totally different concepts.”
Hewitt died from an apparent heart attack while jogging back on July 8. In searching for a new coach, GHHS Principal Tracy Wilson first considered Eidson, who agreed to take over on an interim basis for a year, maybe two. A primary factor was Eidson’s familiarity with the program, and his ability to connect with the kids.
“The boys were extremely excited,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of emotion around the loss of Steve, and the concern among them was, ‘Are they going to bring somebody new in from the outside?’ To bring in someone new to implement a new offense, a new defense would be very difficult. We’re extremely grateful to him that he’s willing to do this, and for his family for supporting him.”
Eidson coached varsity girls basketball for the Buccaneers before taking over as the JV boys coach in 1986. While he enjoyed coaching the girls’ squad, he didn’t relish the added responsibility that came with coaching at the varsity level.
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