Former Cyclone David Howard took the helm of the men’s
basketball team starting in the 2013-14 season. He earned the coveted
role in late spring 2013.
Howard has been around basketball since he was 4 years old. He played at Whitney Young High School in Chicago and helped his team win the city championship his freshman year before becoming a three-year varsity player. After tearing his ACL senior year, he realized the importance of academics. While figuring out his educational path, he bounced around a few colleges including Waubonsee Community College and Moraine Valley, where he played under Shannon. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL again while at Moraine Valley but was steered toward coaching while earning a BA at DePaul University (2006-08). He started as an assistant varsity coach at Christian Fenger Academy High School. He then headed the JV team and then became head varsity coach at Perspectives Charter School where he led the squad to its first winning season. That team advanced to state rounds and won more games than any other in the school’s history. Howard was later an assistant at Corliss High School. He also was a utility coach for freshman, sophomore and varsity teams at Wendell Phillips Academy High School.
Once Howard heard there would be a coaching opportunity at Moraine Valley, he jumped at the chance. “I’m grateful that coach Bill Finn and [former head coach] Dedrick Shannon opened this door for me. This is truly a blessing for me to be head coach,” he said.
Howard wants a melding of sport, academics and life. “My philosophy is to teach life through basketball. After my ACL reconstruction, I hung up my laces. I didn’t want it to happen, but at some point you have to hang up the laces and work. I want the players prepared. I want them to work on the court and in the classroom and develop them as young men of high quality and character and top citizens as a whole,” he said. “It’s a tough task, but I welcome it, and I believe I can make a difference. We’ll learn from each other. When they look back, I hope they think it was meaningful and that they learned to be disciplined and set goals.”
On the court, Howard wants his guys to use their basketball IQ, play the game more mentally. Through repetition at practice, attention to detail and good conditioning, he hopes this focus will aid his squad.