Area high school hoops coach is youngest in southwest Ohio

Connor Roberts leads high school boys basketball team.

It was just eight basketball seasons ago that a now local high school basketball coach was sitting on the very same bench he now is leading his team from.

Having recently turned 26 years old, Talawanda High School boys basketball Coach Connor Roberts is the youngest Division I coach in southwest Ohio.

He was hired in the spring at age 25.

A 2014 graduate of the Butler County school —where he also works as an intervention specialist — Roberts said the fast-track from former Talawanda hoops player to head coach helps him better lead the teenage boys.

“I’m about as young as they get,” he said chuckling.

His youth “helps me relate to the kids.”

“And having played here and the experiences they have gone through are things I can relate to very well,” said Roberts.

“I played basketball for Talawanda but it wasn’t a great career,” Roberts said, adding he got his growth spurt after his prep career, gaining three inches and losing 30 pounds.

When asked if he won any sports honors while playing for Talawanda, he replied: “Oh gosh no.”

“I was very limited athletically. I shot the ball well and had a good sports IQ,” said Roberts, who so far is leading the Talawanda squad to one of its best seasons (6-3 entering Friday night’s game at Mount Healthy) in recent years.

Prior to being hired in spring 2022 for the coaching gig at Talawanda, Roberts was a freshmen boys basketball coach for three years at Edgewood High School and then three years as a varsity assistant coach at Fairfield High School.

Talawanda Athletic Director Jake Richardson said beyond Roberts’ hometown ties and youthful energy, there were other factors in making him the youngest high school boys basketball coach in the school system’s history.

“We are excited to have Coach Roberts here at Talawanda for a lot of reasons. He has a good knowledge of the game, great work ethic, and does a great job building relationships with his players and getting them to buy into what the staff is coaching,” said Richardson.

“For as young as he is, he is definitely ahead of the game in those aspects. And with Coach Roberts being a Talawanda alum, he understands a lot about our community already and cares about these student athletes, the school district and the community.”

“We have had some stability issues in the past with basketball coaches and I believe that Coach Roberts will finally bring that consistency and we look forward to the rest of this season and many more seasons to come,” said Richardson.

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