Added responsibilities on campus do not change Hoyt’s focus in leading JWCC hoops program


John Wood Community College men's basketball coach Brad Hoyt is entering his 13th consecutive season coaching the Trail Blazers and 14th overall. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — The number of times Brad Hoyt criss-crosses the John Wood Community College campus on a given day probably isn’t as high as some might think.

The number of questions he fields from every corner of the campus … well, that’s a number he’d rather not calculate.

The JWCC men’s basketball coach’s “my door is always open” policy lends itself to fielding plenty of inquiries, but taking on the additional responsibilities as the college’s dean of students — he began those duties over the summer — means he has two offices on campus.

Double the offices, double the questions, right?

“Triple,” Hoyt said with a laugh.

What it does limit is the time he spends in the Student Activity Center either as a coach or as the school’s athletic director, a role he has held for 12 years now.

“I don’t get how he does it,” sophomore guard Joshua Talton said. “He’s always on the go.”

Hoyt has juggled the new responsibilities with the old, while trying to maintain a presence with his players.

“It’s an adjustment for me. It’s an adjustment for our guys,” said Hoyt, entering his 13th season as JWCC’s head coach with four NJCAA Division II national tournament appearances during that span. “I’m a little less accessible than what I’d like to be. But we have the right group of guys to handle that, and the right group of coaches, too.

“At the end of the day, I just want to get in the gym and be around these guys.”

They want that, too.

“He definitely makes time if we need to go see him,” Joshua Talton said. “We’ve adapted to his schedule, and we’re all in this together.”

That support has allowed Hoyt to be a larger presence on campus.

“We always make the joke that he could be president because he’s doing everything,” sophomore guard Josiah Talton said.

That doesn’t count the NJCAA committees he sits on, the Mid-West Athletic Conference responsibilities he shoulders and a variety of other things Hoyt does to help grow the school’s image and brand.

“His heart is in it. No one can ever question that,” sophomore forward Logan Robbins said. “He wants what is best for us and for John Wood, and we want what’s best for him. At the end of the day, we’re in this together and we know he has our back and he knows we have his back.”

That bond is part of the reason expectations are high this season.

The Trail Blazers opened their season last weekend with a 107-66 victory over the Quincy University JV, but the first big test comes this weekend with the John Wood Classic at the Student Activity Center. JWCC will face Southwestern Community College at 7 p.m. Friday and take on Kirkwood at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Hoyt will spend most of Friday in his office on the academic side of campus before heading to the gym to go to battle with his guys and be where his heart belongs.

“This is who I am,” Hoyt said. “I can do a thousand other things and I have a few different things on my plate right now, but at the end of the day, I feel the most comfortable in the gym with our guys or watching film or whatever that may be on a given day.”

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