Mike Gossett was named York’s new boys’ basketball coach Thursday morning.
Gossett, who coached Northwestern’s boys for 19 years, takes over after two years as an assistant at Rock Hill. The longtime coach replaces Michael Dalton, who stepped down earlier this month to spend more time with his young family.
As soon as Gossett saw Dalton was stepping down, he contacted York athletics director Steve Boyd immediately.
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“I don’t know that you could find much better facilities in South Carolina as far as high school basketball,” said Gossett. “It’s very intriguing in the way it’s set up.”
York received 18 to 20 applications for the vacancy. Gossett applied two years ago when York chose Dalton, but Boyd said he was the top candidate for the gig this time around. Boyd said Gossett’s differentiating factors were “Experience, maturity, had a plan to build the program back up, and just knowledge of the game.”
Gossett becomes York’s fifth boys’ basketball coach in six years. Boyd admitted earlier this month that he had hired candidates that for various personal reasons simply hadn’t worked out and seemed eager to get this one right.
“There is no doubt we want somebody that’s gonna be here for the next 10 years and do a good job with the basketball program,” said Boyd. “Mike’s home is basically in this area, so yeah, we looked at that too.”
Gossett, who lives just east of the York school district, said he plans to be at the school “long-term.” He said he was delighted to have another crack at a head coaching job after being let go by Northwestern in 2013. He also praised Rock Hill coaches and administrators for letting him assist the Bearcats the last two years, which he believed was crucial in earning another head job.
“As you get up in age, you wonder a little bit,” said Gossett. “One thing I’ve always been is enthusiastic about basketball and the kids that I coach, and that hasn’t changed.”
Gossett met with the Cougars players at 9 a.m. Thursday morning. They finished 13-12 last season and made the second round of the playoffs under Dalton. But Gossett lamented during an interview after meeting his players that he’ll have to make-do next year without graduating seniors and 1,000-point scorers Daurice Simpson and Deshaw Andrews. Still, he wasn’t worried about the future levels of talent at the school.
“Hopefully I can put my stamp on it and get them to play my style, my way, and find out what they can do better and mesh the two together,” said Gossett, “and produce what we want to produce here, region championships and on up.”
Gossett, who will teach P.E. at York, made the playoffs 13 times during his 19 seasons in charge of the Trojans boys, and he also shepherded his teams to two region championships.
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T