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Shorecrest, PHU go with experience

The Chargers hire Jim McDonald, a former Division I coach, for its boys basketball team.

By PETE YOUNG

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 16, 2000


Jim McDonald was blissfully enjoying retirement on a tennis court one day a few months ago when a playing partner suggested McDonald pursue the vacant boys basketball coaching position at Shorecrest.

McDonald, who knew little about Shorecrest, "kicked it around for a while," before his curiosity got the best of him, and he decided to look into it. As a result, next season, the Chargers will be coached by a man with 10 years head coaching experience at the Division I level.

"I think we've really got a good one here," Shorecrest athletic director Phil Hayford said.

McDonald, 66, was the coach at Kent State from 1982-83 through 1991-92, guiding the Golden Flashes to three NIT appearances. He has 23 years of coaching experience at the college level and 10 years of coaching high school in Ohio.

McDonald's wife, Nancy Anne (nee Shenk), is a St. Petersburg High graduate, and the couple retired to the area last June.

"My first job was a high school job that was somewhat similar to this one," McDonald said.

"Yes, I guess you could say I've come full circle."

After retiring from coaching at Kent State, McDonald was the interim athletic director at the school for a year, and he was a television analyst for University of Toledo games for two years. He inherits a team that went 6-20 last season.

"I live right next to (Shorecrest). I can walk to the place, so it's real convenient," McDonald said. "I'm a fundamentalist. I like to teach the game of basketball. Nothing fancy. I don't think the game has changed. If a whole lot has changed, I haven't seen it. I hope the kids will play hard. I ask them to play hard.

"It'll be an experience. Hopefully, it'll be fun."

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