Veteran Euclid coach model of consistency

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 9, 2000

CHESAPEAKE – To say Harold "Doc" Daughtery is stuck in a rut is an understatement.

Friday, June 09, 2000

CHESAPEAKE – To say Harold "Doc" Daughtery is stuck in a rut is an understatement. But it’s a rut anyone would love to get caught in.

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Daughtery has been coaching high school basketball for 43 years, 39 as a head coach, and all of those are with Euclid High School.

Not only has he been stuck at one school, Daughtery can’t seem to shake a habit of winning. He has 597 career wins and his teams have claimed 18 league championships, 21 sectional titles, six district crowns, and he guided the Panthers to the state tournament in 1968 only to lose to power Columbus East.

"We were down five points at the half and I thought we were in pretty good shape, but they took over the second half. They were awful good," Daughtery said.

Although Euclid "only" won six district titles under Daughtery, his teams had the misfortune of being in a difficult district that included perennial basketball power Cleveland St. Joseph.

"I’ve been very lucky to win as many championships as we have, especially with the tough teams we have to play in our district," said Daughtery. "We’ve been blessed with a lot of talent, but I guess I did something right."

"Doc," as the coach is known, has had a long string of talented players that include Rich Yonaker who attended North Carolina and played for San Antonio in the NBA, Cliff Kirchner who attended Ohio State, Mel Levitt who played at Cincinnati, and Tommy Davis who was a starter for the Ohio University team that upset Kentucky in the NCAA regionals.

And there have been numerous players who have played at Mid-American Conference schools and small colleges.

The school recently renamed the gym in Daughtery’s honor and held a banquet that included more 230 former players.

"For players from all over the country to come back, I just couldn’t believe it," said Daughtery. "When they named the gym after me, I was in utter shock. That’s something that doesn’t happen in public schools."

Daughtery is the seventh winningest coach in Ohio and will be inducted into the National High School Basketball Coach Hall of Fame Aug. 3.

"I never dreamed I would be elected to the (national) Hall of Fame. There are six other coaches ahead of me in terms of wins," said Daughtery.

"I guess I was chosen because of all my work in all-star games and being a past president of the coaches association."

Daughtery helped put on the Ohio-Michigan series until it became the Wendy’s Classic and added Illinois and Indiana to the Ohio and Michigan teams. He now works with the Ohio-West Virginia All-Star series that is scheduled this weekend including Saturday night’s games at Chesapeake High School.

"The problem with (the Wendy’s) series is it didn’t include a girls game," said Daughtery.

Daughtery’s rut will change this fall. He is stepping down as the head coach at Euclid. However, his replacement, Shawn O’Toole, has asked Daughtery to remain as an assistant.

"O’Toole played at St. Ignatius and John Carroll (University). He’s very good and very capable, and he’s not afraid to have the old man around. He’s young and excitable, so he wants me as a soothing element on the bench. We all needed that when we started out," said Daughtery.