Bryan Crislip ready to roll with PHS boys’ hoops

Patriot newest leader of Big Reds’ program

Photo provided Bryan Crislip recently accepted the PHS boys’ basketball job. He’s wasted no time getting in the gym with the kids and establishing his expectations for the program.

PARKERSBURG — PHS Big Reds’ boys’ basketball team has its new head coach … and he is a Parkersburg South Patriot.

Bryan Crislip, though, would prefer the attention be directed toward the team rather than this fact.

And the Elite Center’s Head of Basketball Operations should desire this with the big plans, along with his backgrounds and different perspectives of the sport arriving with him this winter to Sam Mandich Court.

“I am just excited for the opportunity to build something at PHS. My goal is to be coaching for a long time,” he said. “I missed the X’s and O’s when we moved back to Parkersburg. I missed the game planning and the seven months when you’re with your kids and just trying to build a program and improve. These last couple days with the kids have been a blast.”

Crislip envisions a similar five-year state tournament plan his uncle Joe brought with him to Parkersburg South in 1994.

“He won three or four games in his first year and by the time the fifth year rolled around we were in the state tournament. From that point, they never really stopped getting to the state tournament,” he said.

While PHS wasn’t mired in a below .500 rut during Jeff Mennillo’s tenure, the Big Reds haven’t qualified for the state tournament since a magical appearance in 2012.

A team lead by Ja’Darien Wade, Michael Ramsey and Jordan Colebank upset heavily-favored Morgantown in a Class AAA, Region I co-final, before falling to defending state champion Hurricane in the opening round of the tournament.

Whether the plan goes off as scheduled remains to be seen as he has to work with what he has, but Crislip assured the Big Red community “whenever we step out on the court our goal is to be state champions.”

He certainly believes they can hit the ground running and is well acquainted with members of the team from time at the Elite.

His plan to do this involves the Big Reds giving great effort to the little things every night. Players are going to box out for rebounds and dive for the loose balls. But, there is going to be some fun out on the court, too.

“We want the community to be entertained when they come to our games and if the boys are having fun they are going to want to work harder to get better,” he said.

It is a message falling on 40 ears as 20 hopeful players turned out at the beginning of the three-week period. The Big Reds’ leader wasted little time getting his team on the court with a planned trip to a George Washington shootout tomorrow and University the following week.

Schemes and terminology are being installed as well.

PHS Athletic Director Chris Way loves the passion and enthusiam Crislip brings with him to the hardwood sport.

“Bryan is young and energetic with a great basketball mind and has a nice vision on how he would like to lead the team to success,” he said.

Way may have sold his new coach short when it comes to the amount of knowledge Crislip possesses of the hardwood sport.

Not only did Crislip play at the high-school level as a Patriot, where he finished on the Class AAA All-State First Team in 1999 and 2000, but he joined the first recruiting class of Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles’ men’s basketball team, where he was named a three-year captain.

His talents then netted him a stint playing pro ball in Holland for five or six months before he returned to the states to begin a coaching career.

While he was an assistant with the FGCU women’s team for the first two years including the year the team went 39-0 and reached the national championship game, he received big attention during his one-year stop at Barron Collier High School (2007-08). A tenure where he was named the Southwest Florida High School Basketball Coach of the Year after he inherited a team down six seniors and turned the group into a 22-5 outfit.

“It went better than I expected,” he said.

Crislip firmly believes all of his travels will aid him, though he hasn’t seen it all.

“There are still going to be things that the game is going to present that might be different, but luckily I have been in enough situations where I am comfortable enough to adjust. I am not one of those coaches who sticks strictly to one game plan. Situations dictate change,” he said.

PHS kicks off the 2019-20 basketball season in November.