Cupps takes over for Staley at Centerville

Former Graham coach and AD officially takes over hoops program.

Longtime Centerville High School boys basketball coach Jim Staley has been replaced in that position by former Graham boys coach Brook Cupps.

The Centerville school board on Monday accepted Cupps as coach. He recently resigned that position at Graham, where he also was the athletic director.

“Centerville’s on a short list of places that I would leave Graham for,” said Cupps, a St. Paris native.

“It is an odd situation. I have a lot of respect for Jim and what he’s done with the program. He’s built it basically from scratch.”

It was a stunning exit after 21 mostly winning seasons with the Elks for Staley. He had a 327-158 record at Centerville, with numerous league titles and deep postseason runs.

Staley landed at Centerville after fielding quality teams at Trotwood-Madison. His career record is 540-270, second in the area only to Alter’s Joe Petrocelli, the state’s all-time winningest boys coach.

Staley retired from teaching this year, which by law meant that his coaching job had to be posted. Elks football coach Ron Ullery also retired from the school district following last season. That coaching position also was posted, which Ullery retained.

“They told me that I would not be back,” Staley said. “I am deeply disappointed.”

“Nobody gave me a reason why; that was it. I did not want to give this job up.”

Centerville has gone 12-11, 10-13 and 12-11 this past season since winning its last Greater Western Ohio Conference title in 2009. Cupps was Graham’s head coach the past 12 seasons. The Falcons lost in the D-II state semifinals in 2008.

“What (Staley) has accomplished for Centerville basketball is immeasurable,” Elks AD Rob Dement said. “He put them on the map. But timing is everything.

“To be able to get Brook Cupps to take over the program and build from where we’re at is an awesome opportunity.”

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