Richard Rose

Richard Rose remembers attending basketball camp in the third grade. The first two days, he didn’t touch a ball. It was entirely defensive work.

That philosophy stuck with Rose throughout his high school and college career. Now that he’s a first-year coach, he wants defense to be the staple of his program at Houston.

“You’re going to have different personnel through the years,” he said. “The one area you can be consistent with is the defensive end.

“I want that to be the foundation of the program moving forward.”

Rose, who graduated this year from Lindenwood University after scoring more than 1,500 career points, was named the new Houston High School boys’ basketball coach last week. He replaces Tom Brown, who didn’t return after one season with the Tigers.

Houston’s search committee –– consisting of superintendent Scott Dill, athletic director Brent Kell and high school principal Charlie Malam –– sought stability with the program’s latest hire. Rose is the team’s sixth coach in seven years.

Along with a revolving door of coaches, the boys’ basketball program has struggled to find success. The Tigers last won a conference title in 1989 and district championship in 1984.

Rose inherits a team that won four games this past season and three games the previous year.

“I want to be somebody the boys can count on to stick around and get things going in the right direction,” Rose said. “It has been my dream to head a basketball program.”

Rose has no ties to the area. He said he found out about the position through HHS graduates Trezha and Lexie Malam. They became friends while attending Lindenwood together.

Rose said the Malams’ description of Houston reminded him of his hometown of Troy. It has a population of 10,000.

“Immediately when I heard about the community, it really excited me,” Rose said. “From what I hear and have experienced, Houston is like a small-scale Troy. It’s something I’ve grown up and am comfortable with.”

Rose said he would be active in the youth and middle school basketball programs. He wants to implement his foundation of defense at an early age.

At the high school level, it will be defense first from Day 1 –– likely summer camp and open gyms ––moving forward.

“I’m a firm believer if you have the right mindset, bad teams can become good teams and good teams can be great teams,” he said. “I’ve seen not-so-great teams accomplish big things with a foundation of defense and hard work.”

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