Former Franklin Central and IUPUI guard John Ashworth was named the new boys basketball coach at Decatur Central on Tuesday.
Ashworth, 26, had been working as an assistant under John Rockey for the past four seasons. Franklin Central won its sectional each of the past three seasons.
“There is a strong sense of community at Decatur Central,” Ashworth said. “There has always been a lot of potential there and I didn’t hesitate to apply when the job came open.”
Ashworth played under Mark James at Franklin Central where he teamed with former Purdue standout JaJuan Johnson to lead the Flashes to a 24-3 record as a senior. He went on to play four years at IUPUI for Ron Hunter, starting full-time at point guard the final two years.
Ashworth said he’d take a little bit from James and Hunter, as well as Rockey, in his coaching style.
“I’ll definitely try to take something from all of them and sprinkle in some of my own uniqueness,” he said. “I can take a lot of positives from all of them. The best thing I’ll take from coach Rockey is that he helped establish a winning culture at Franklin Central the last few years. We’d be the best team we could be by the end of the season.”
Decatur Central was 11-11 last season under Joe Preda, who stepped down as coach after three years. Ashworth met with the players briefly on Tuesday.
“We’re going to have a pretty young team,” he said. “I’d like for us to be an uptempo team and trap and pressure on defense. I’d like to do some things we did at IUPUI and mix in some other things.”
Ashworth said he hasn’t thought too far down the road about his future in coaching.
“My head has kind of been spinning the last 24 hours with this news and I’m going to put my focus and energy into the job at Decatur,” he said. “I haven’t thought too much about where I’d like to be in five or 10 years.”
• Former Kokomo guard Tayler Persons, a 2014 IndyStar Indiana All-Star, was granted his release from Northern Kentucky on Tuesday. The 6-3 Persons was the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year after averaging 13.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season. A coaching change following the season, however, led to Persons’ request for a release.
• North Central senior point guard Wes Stowers committed to Marian University on Tuesday. Stowers is a strong addition for new coach Carson Harris, the former Evansville assistant who was hired last month.