Ford is still learning as Danville Boys basketball coach

Published on Friday, June 21, 2024, 5:00 p.m.

Just like his players, Tryston Ford is still learning every day.

Ford has dropped the title of interim coach, but still considers himself a newbie on the job as he enters his second year as Danville's boys basketball coach.

He was named interim coach of the Admirals just over a year ago and was promoted to head coach last month.

He said one of the most valuable lessons he learned during his time on the job was the importance of staying calm while still learning the ropes of coaching.

“(I try) never to get too high or too low, but just to stay strong, stay focused and keep one common goal in mind, which is to continue to improve with every game and every practice,” Ford said. “And that goes for me and for them.”

Ford said he teaches and learns at the same time.

“I always remind my players that they're not the only ones learning. I'm still learning,” he said. “I'm still learning about game management, I'm still learning about preparation, I'm still learning about planning (in the summer).”

Ford took Danville to the first team training camp last week at Campbellsville University in Harrodsburg, part of a busy June schedule that he said represents the second phase of a busy offseason for the Admirals.

He said they have been in the gym and weight room almost non-stop since the season ended in February.

“When the offseason starts with weight lifting, that's part one. Now we can finally play games and that's part two, so we have to focus on that and continue to grow and build our team chemistry,” he said.

It is a critical time for the Admirals as Ford will be fielding an inexperienced team for the second consecutive year.

“I feel like we're learning something every day,” Ford said. “I feel like we've grown tremendously since the end of the season. These guys are dedicated, (and they're) very, very teachable and they work hard. Every time I have the gym open, they're there.”

“They have good contacts and are all friends. So I think the chemistry in our team is one of the most important factors for our growth.”

Ford, who graduated from Danville in 2012 and led the Admirals to a 6-22 record in his first season, said his move from interim coach to head coach has also been good for his development and that of the team.

“It takes a weight off my shoulders and gives me another opportunity to prove myself as a coach,” he said. “And most importantly, I get to build my guys up again. I love all of my players and I feel like they love me. I have a great relationship with all of them, from top to bottom, from our seniors down to the middle schoolers.”

He said his promotion also sends a message to players that he has no plans to go anywhere during a time of great upheaval at Danville.

“I think it definitely keeps them grounded,” Ford said. “A lot of kids transfer because of (changes) in coaching and administration, and I think it gives them a foundation where they know me and my philosophy. They go into the gym every day and know what I expect of them and they meet my standards. So I think we're starting off in a good place again.”

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