Wright State University, Exercise Science; Masters of Sport Pedagogy
2-time cancer survivor. Helped hundreds of former athletes play professionally in their given sport.
Meet Coach Stephen
“Success doesn’t care about the validity of an excuse.”
What is your greatest achievement?
A week before my 18th birthday, I was diagnosed with cancer (Hodgkins Lymphoma), I went through 6 months of chemo followed by 6 months of radiation. After being declared cancer free for about 9 months the cancer came back in my freshman year of college. I underwent more intense chemotherapy and nothing was working so I had to get a stem cell transplant. Since then, I have been cancer free for over 10 years now. This experience taught me how important it is to live in the present and have a relentless attitude with every obstacle that comes my way.
What is a challenge that has defined who you are today?
Like the gt.kids I work with, I was Gifted and Talented and very driven growing up. Most of that drive and energy I put towards basketball, with dreams of playing at the professional level. Like most of you know, life comes with obstacles. Most of my obstacles came right before college and during college. These obstacles really transformed a lot of my dreams and goals in life. First, it was all about going pro – I received multiple offers from professional basketball teams in Europe, China, and Austraila. After my diagnosis and battle with cancer, I transitioned my goals to becoming a coach and helping others go pro. I became a Sport Performance coach. For the past 8 years, I have helped hundreds of athletes reach their dreams of playing at the professional level, from the MLB to the NBA, and have helped professionals achieve their desired career, from starting their own business to working for a fortune 500 company. I learned working towards goals takes a relentless attitude towards overcoming obstacles and a lot of hard work.
“I learned working towards goals takes a relentless attitude towards overcoming obstacles and a lot of hard work.”
How has hardwork and dedication has contributed to your success today?
After being diagnosed with cancer I continued to workout and practice through chemo and radiation therapy to improve my basketball skills and compete at the highest level. I earned a spot on the Wright State University basketball team and continued to play even when the cancer returned my freshman year. After beating it a second time I maintained my spot on the team and had a chance to play professionally overseas.
What do you love about coaching students?
There is so much potential with students this age and these are some of the most formative years in their life that will impact their future and how much they accomplish later in life.
What do you do when not coaching at gt.school?
When I am not coaching at gt.school, I am spending time with my wife Brooke. We love to eat good food, walk on the beach, travel, and hang out with friends and family.
“There is so much potential with students this age and these are some of the most formative years in their life that will impact their future and how much they accomplish later in life.”
What is a lesson you’ve learned that you bring to coaching?
One of the biggest things that got me into coaching was the strength coach that I had in college. I had just come off a stem cell transplant, intense chemo, bedridden for a month. When I got back and was clear to start doing things, my coaches let me off the hook a lot. The strength coach I had at that time said “you’re just the same as everyone else.” It’s an excuse and a crutch… or it’s not. That’s what shifted my mindset to become a coach. If that never happened… who knows who I’d be? I had influential people telling me to cut back – but he told me to get back over it. That was the start of why I wanted to be a coach.