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Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Aaron Hogg hired as Arsenal Tech boys team coach

By meerna Jul11,2024
Aaron Hogg hired as Arsenal Tech boys team coach

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INDIANAPOLIS — Aaron Hogg got a taste of what it was like to restore a bit of pride to a historically strong high school basketball program last season when he led Washington to its first section championship in 29 years. He hopes the same formula works for the largest public school program in Indianapolis.

Hogg, 43, was announced Wednesday as Tech’s new boys basketball coach.

“The idea in Washington was to bring in young kids from the district and develop them into players who can play at the high school level,” Hogg said. “We never had any big transfers or anything like that. But what we did have, we really focused on their holistic development — in the classroom, outside the classroom, in the weight room and all the places where you have to work to be successful. The kids bought into it and if you do everything right, winning will take care of itself.”

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Hogg coached four seasons at Washington, leading the Continentals to a 48-53 record. Washington was 18-9 in 2021-22 but fell seven points short of the Class 3A sectional championship against Beech Grove, which went on to win the state championship. Last season, Washington beat Tech in the city tournament to reach the semifinals, then won the program’s first sectional title since the 1994-95 team nearly beat Ben Davis in a regional at Hinkle Fieldhouse the same year the school closed (it reopened a few years later).

The 6-foot-6 Hogg, who was a standout at Warren Central under current University of Indianapolis coach Scott Heady in the late 1990s, was 2-2 as interim coach at Manual at the end of the 2019-20 season when Donnie Bowling resigned.

“Every coach, when they start out, there’s uncertainty,” Hogg said. “For me, the experience of taking what I’ve learned over the years and everything I’ve learned from Coach Heady and playing at the next level in college and overseas, it taught me a lot. It was just about implementing what I’ve learned and creating my own identity from all of those experiences. My confidence grew as I did that over the years.”

Tech will be the only IPS basketball program competing at the Class 4A level in the next two-year classification, as Crispus Attucks will drop to 3A. The Titans were 15-9 last season, finishing the final eight games with Ryan Mulcrone as coach after Damon Turner resigned midseason. Tech’s best team under Turner was an 18-8 team in 2021-22.

“Coach Hogg brings a wealth of experience, passion and commitment to excellence that aligns perfectly with the values ​​and aspirations of our school,” said Tech Athletic Director Ed Buford. “With an impressive track record of developing young talent and cultivating a strong team spirit, Coach Hogg is well-equipped to lead our basketball program to new heights. His dedication to both the athletic and personal development of his players makes him an outstanding addition to our team.”

Hogg taught in the IPS school system for a decade after retiring from playing. He began playing junior college basketball at Jacksonville (Texas) College before moving on to Wichita State, where he averaged 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds for coach Mark Turgeon from 2002 to 2004. He played professionally in Finland and China before returning to the United States to play semi-professional basketball and coach the semi-professional Indianapolis Diesels for four years while working on a master’s degree and certificate in special education.

“It’s definitely hard to leave Washington,” Hogg said. “You build relationships with teachers and administrators in Washington, and the worst part of it is the kids. Letting the kids down is the worst part of it, but these kids work hard and I’m sure they’ll succeed.”

Hogg said he knows Tech’s returning players, which are mostly a group of juniors from last year. While Hogg said it’s “coaching parlance” that he’s not concerned about wins and losses in his first year, he wants to build the program the right way.

“Of course I want to win, and of course we’re going to try to win,” he said. “But we have to do it right, and I believe in doing it right. It’s not about chasing wins at all costs. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to do things right. I’m a big believer that if you do things right and you build your culture, the wins will take care of themselves.”

Hogg said Mulcrone will remain with the team as an assistant. The rest of the staff will be finalized in the coming weeks.

Although Tech’s only sectional title since Landon Turner’s 1978 reign came in the 2013-14 Class 4A state championship, the Titans have been a competitive program at times. Tech’s gym, built in 1929, remains one of the state’s jewels and hosts big games like the semifinals and city championships, as well as the occasional sectional.

“It’s exciting,” Hogg said. “Even a few years ago, Tech may not have had a championship, but they were competitive and fun to watch. So it’s very tempting to be here.”

Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.

By meerna

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