By Rob Kiser
Piqua High School athletic directory Chip Hare stated he was looking for the right guy to take over the Piqua boys basketball program — and he is sure he found him — in Steve Grasso who was introduced to parents and players Tuesday in the PHS commons.
Grasso was a long-time assistant at Fairmont, before coaching Yellow Springs for three seasons.
The Bulldogs improved each season under Grasso, advancing to the D-IV regional finals in his final season — after upsetting defending state champion Tri-Village.
Last year he served as an assistant coach for Graham, under his brother Julian Grasso.
“The biggest thing I got when I talked to former coaches, athletic directors and even parents, was that everyone respected him,” Hare said. “We were looking for someone similar to Heath (Butler), who was so with the kids and for the community — but we weren’t necessarily looking for a mirror of Heath.
“I think Steve (Grasson) will put his own twist on things, but there are also a lot of things that will be very similar to Heath (Butler).”
Grasso was excited to get the job
“One of the things I talked about with Chip was Piqua being very successful academically and athletically,” Grasso said. “Having being in the GWOC, I was looking to get back there.”
Grasso passed out the 4 Pillars of Piqua Hoop Culture — Hard Work, Enthusiasm, Trust and Competitive Spirit.
“It is all about hard work and outworking the opponent,” Grasso said. “I think Heath (Butler) took over when they were coming off a three-win season or something like that. I think it he did a good job instilling those values and I want to continue to build on what he did.”
Grasso said after going through a series of interviews and awaiting board approval, now the fun begins.
“I can’t wait to get in the gym and start working on basketball,” he said. “I am excited. We are going to hit the ground running.”
Grasso said this summer will be important as he begins to build towards the future.
“There are a lot of similarities in the style we are going to play,” he said. “We are going to play tough man defense. On offense, we are going to work the ball and hopefully, hit that open 3-point shot when it is there. I am going to learn a lot about this team this summer.
“I am going to find out who the go-to defender is when we need a stop. I am going to learn who the guy is who can knock down a shot when we need it.”
And Hare believes he will continue to build on what Butler did.
“We were looking for a guy who had run a program and had been a head coach and we found that,” Hare said. “Steve brings a lot of leadership. We are really excited to get a coach like Steve Grasso.”
Because, he is right man to lead the Piqua boys basketball program.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.