Pat Beard announced as the new head coach of Chillicothe boys’ basketball – Chillicothe Gazette - Techy Hunters


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Pat Beard announced as the new head coach of Chillicothe boys’ basketball – Chillicothe Gazette

CHILLICOTHE — After it was announced that Eric Huffer would be moving on from his post as the head coach of the Chillicothe Cavaliers’ boys basketball team, all hands were on deck to find his replacement.

After eight years at the helm, Huffer and the Cavaliers had their worst season together in 2020 where they finished the year with only one win and went winless in the Frontier Athletic Conference.

In hopes of returning to the team’s former glory, the Chillicothe City Board of Education knew that in order to do so, it started with making the right hire at head coach.

On Monday, they sent out a press release announcing that former Cavaliers’ girls’ basketball coach, Pat Beard was the unanimous decision.

In the statement, Chillicothe’s athletic director, Knute Bonner, praised Beard and cited his extensive coaching experience as the reason for the decision.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Pat Beard back at Chillicothe High School. Between his drive and experience combined with the knowledge he has of the program we’re sure that he is the best person for this position. Between his experience with not just the 4 years he had as our Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, but also the years he spent with our Boys Program as an assistant, I feel that he has both the feel for our program and the drive to get our program in a position to compete at the Division 1 level.”

Following Beard’s 16-year tenure at Chillicothe, he spent a season at Zane Trace as an assistant coach, where he had grown attached to the kids, making the decision to return to Chillicothe a difficult one.

“When Chillicothe first contacted me about the job, I was deadset on not taking it,” Beard said. “I felt like I was at a good spot in Zane Trace, especially as the kids and I continued to build a good connection. But the more I thought about it, it just felt right to me return to the place where I got my first opportunity to start coaching.”

While with the Pioneers, he was reunited with former high school basketball coach, Gary Kellough, who himself has over 50 years of coaching experience under his belt.

In his time with Beard, Kellough said that he has seen him undergo exceptional growth and said that Chillicothe could not have asked for a better hire.

“His dream has always been to become a head coach for a boys’ basketball team,” Kellough said. “He has paid his dues and prepared himself to be a successful head coach. We hate to lose Pat from our program, but he is like family to me and anytime my family can get an opportunity, I back him 100%.”

In his excitement to return to the head coaching ranks, Beard also acknowledged that turning around Chillicothe’s program will be a difficult undertaking, but one he is excited for.

“I have always wanted to be in a position to build a program,” Beard said. “There are a lot of coaches who search out the best talent and I have never wanted to be one of those coaches. Chillicothe prior to last year, has had great success in basketball, they were just very young after losing so many seniors. I am just looking forward to getting more kids out to play basketball and have the community rally behind that.”

Much like many figures associated with Chillicothe’s athletic community, he knows that everything begins and ends with community support, which has to be earned by the players.

“The kids themselves feed off of that support, but it is a two-way street,” Beard said. “The community will not come out to support if the kids are not doing right by the community. So, I want to stress to the kids that wherever they go, they are representing Chillicothe. I want them to be outstanding citizens and student-athletes. That is when you will see the community will support.”

With things now made official, Beard and his staff will not work to introduce his team into his system and try to get prepared ahead of the start of the season.

“I have a little less than three months to get the kids to buy into the system,” Beard said. “I know it is going to be a significant learning curve for the kids as well. My expectations as a coach are to always come in and win, but realistically, I want to provide a positive experience for a hardworking group. If we can do that as a staff, the wins will take care of themselves.”

Have a story tip or comment? Contact Raven at or 740-270-2895. Follow her on Twitter @Raven_XReport or at 

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