NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The search to find a new boys and girls basketball coach at Springfield Local ended Monday night. The Tigers’ search lasted just over a month.
Former Mineral Ridge head coach John Matisi, the son of Tony Matisi, is taking over the Springfield girls and a very familiar face, one that owns the program’s highest winning percentage, is returning home to take over for the boys.
“I am thrilled to go home,” said new Springfield head coach Jeff Brink. “It has been a dream of mine since I left to eventually be able to come home.”
That dream is now a reality for Brink. The veteran head coach was approved by the Springfield board by a unanimous 5 to 0 vote, much to the approval of the public at the board meeting.
“The love from the community, it was just an outpouring,” Brink said. “Getting the chance to go back and see the joy for people and the way they have come out to support me and the way they came out to try and push me to come back. To be honest, that is the reason I am coming home.”
Brink coached five seasons at Springfield from 1998 to 2003, winning the Tigers’ first district title in 35 years. Then he moved south to Salem, heading the Quakers for three seasons before moving to Division 1 Hudson for the past 14 years.
Brink says the experience along the way has him ready to deliver for the Tigers.
“You learn how to diversify your game plan as a coach,” Brink said. “From a coaching standpoint, I wish I could go back and play that LeBron James game now with what I know. Compared to a 25- to 30-year-old coach with five to 10 years experience, it is a different clientele.”
Brink will have a team that has been to regional play for two of the last three seasons, but his goals stretch well further than the final eight.
“It is unfinished business and we are going to try and take care of it,” Brink said. “There is a goal and the goal goes beyond a league title, a district title. My goal has always been, as a kid has been to win a state title and it hasn’t changed. I am coming home because it is Springfield Local. I am a Tiger, orange and black in the blood, and now I have a chance to finish the job.”