The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

Etzler to lead Knight boys’ hoops team

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY – Former Crestview basketball standout Doug Etzler is coming home.

The school’s all time leading scorer and assist leader has been chosen to take over the Crestview boys’ basketball program. He’s taking over for Jeremy Best, who led the Knights to the 2018-2019 Division IV state championship, then announced his resignation last month.

Doug Etzler answers questions after being hired as Crestview’s next boys’ basketball coach. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

Etzler’s hiring was made official during a special Board of Education meeting held Wednesday night.

“We’re not replacing a coach, because replacing is not our goal; but, rather, we’re starting the next chapter in a storied tradition that so many have contributed to,” Athletic Administrator Trent Kreischer said during an introductory press conference.

“A week ago I would have said it was just a dream,” Etzler said. “Coach Best is established here and it didn’t enter my mind that this would be a possibility, but if you look back at the beginning of my coaching career and how things have played out, it’s a dream come true.”

“It’s been a whirlwind for me,” Etzler continued. “I can’t say enough how much I respect coach Best and the job he’s done here. I’ve always talked about the Crestview tradition and coach Best brings it up even higher, so I wasn’t even thinking about this until it opened up, and here we are tonight.”

“I’m happy to be able to bring my kids (Kylie and Gavin) here. You talk about coming full circle, having a chance to coach my son here as a Crestview Knight, having my daughter play as a Crestview Knight and have my wife (Lisa) be a part of this community, and I’m happy to come home and officially say I’m a Crestview Knight again.”

After playing for his father, Hall of Fame coach Ray Etzler, and graduating from Crestview in 1991, Etzler played four years of collegiate basketball at Ohio State. He’s been the head coach at Division I Teays Valley in Ashville for the last 14 years. His teams there went 160-152 and won three Mid State League titles, along with three sectional championships.

“I think the biggest adjustment for me is going to be getting to know all of the programs that we’re playing against and getting to know my program,” Etzler said.

In terms of style of play, Etzler said he doesn’t expect many changes.

“As a coach I’m a lot more defensive minded than I am offensive minded, just because I know defense travels with you every night,” Etzler explained. “Obviously offense is going to be very important, but it’s going to depend on the guys too. I’m not opposed to playing fast, but it depends on the makeup of the team.”

Etzler added that he’d like to keep last year’s coaching staff in place.

“They’re Crestview guys, they’ve been through it, and I’m not here to change things, I’m here to continue things,” Etzler said. “Things will be a little bit different, but I want some consistency and if they want to come back, I’d love to have them.”

Etzler and his wife will teach at Crestview.

POSTED: 05/08/19 at 7:50 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports