A prolific scorer from Lindenwood University has been hired as the next leader of the Houston High School boys’ basketball program.
Richard Rose was named the Tigers’ new coach following Monday night’s board of education meeting. He assumes the position vacated by Tom Brown, who left the program following one season at HHS.
Superintendent Scott Dill said Rose, a 2012 Lindenwood graduate, emerged from a large pool of candidates during a month-long process. He was one of four finalists for the position.
Rose is the Tigers’ sixth coach in seven years –– a fact Dill said resonated with the search committee. Dill said he worked alongside athletic director Brent Kell and incoming HHS principal Charlie Malam during the entire process.
“When we talked to the candidates, we emphasized what we were looking for –– in addition to a winning program obviously –– was stability,” Dill said. “There are no guarantees with any employee that they will stay put. What we want to do is create a situation where a coach wants to stay here for a long time. We feel like we have the right person in the right place at the right time.”
Rose inherits a struggling program. Houston went 4-19 last season and had three victories the previous campaign. The Tigers last won a conference title in 1989 and district championship in 1984.
Kell said the search committee was skeptical of veteran coaches who would want to be part of a program that has not been successful for several decades.
“I think it’s an ideal situation for a young guy to step in,” Kell said. “Everybody has to get a chance sometime, and we felt like he was the right fit for us. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the game is exactly what we’re looking for.”
Rose brings an impressive basketball resume to Texas County. He was the fourth player in school history to surpass 1,500 career points and led the Lions to a school-record 29 wins his senior season and their first-ever victory in the NAIA Division I National Tournament.
Rose, who graduated from Troy Buchanan High School in 2007, was a four-year starter at Lindenwood. His senior season, he led the nation in three-point percentage (50.6) while also ranking ninth in free throw percentage and 18th in three-pointers per game. He averaged 13.7 points per game.
In high school, Rose was the two-time Lincoln County player of the year and a first-team all-state selection as a senior.
Dill said was even more impressed with Rose’s passion for kids and teaching. He said Rose will teach high school social studies at Houston.
“In addition to finding the best coach possible, I first and foremost want the best teacher possible,” Dill said. “That is our primary purpose as an institution. I was very impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm for the classroom. That impressed me most.”
Dill said Rose is engaged to be married in July –– his fiancé is from the Waynesville area –– and will move to Houston this summer.
“What we were really looking for was a person of character and quality to work with our young men,” Dill said. “A coach is responsible for teaching life lessons as well. We feel like we’ve found a candidate who represents all those things.”