Keith Tate’s previous basketball experience in Toledo didn’t go exactly the way he had hoped.
After playing varsity basketball at Rogers as a junior for coach Bart Schroeder in 1993-94, Tate was cut from the team his senior year.
The setback proved to be merely a speed bump for Tate, who has since blazed his own basketball trail the past 20 years.
That trail has led him back to Toledo as the new boys basketball head coach at Bowsher, which is coming off the best season in program history.
“I’ve never been part of any coaching group in Toledo,” Tate said. “I kind of made my own path, and did my own thing. I’m grateful for this opportunity.”
Tate, 37, succeeds Joe Guerrero, who guided the Rebels to a banner 24-3 season in which Bowsher won its first City League and district championships, and achieved a No. 8 state ranking. Guerrero will succeed his older brother, Gil Guerrero, as Start’s new boys head coach.
For Tate, the new coaching post represents a homecoming.
“Toledo is a great city, and I have an opportunity 15 years later to establish a program,” Tate said. “Bowsher did a phenomenal job last year under Joe Guerrero, winning the district. They basically built the foundation where we can kind of catapult ourselves into being one of the top teams in the city and hopefully go further.”
Bowsher athletic director Terry Reeves said Tate won over the school’s athletic committee.
“We interviewed several candidates, and Keith ended up being the best for the position,” Reeves said. “He was very impressive in his interview.”
After graduating from Rogers in 1995, Tate played basketball from 1995-99 under highly-successful coach Dick Damron at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Ky.
“I had an opportunity to play basketball at a small NAIA school under coach Damron,” Tate said. “He was a real good coach and he won four national championships. I learned a lot from him, and from the different coaches I had, like Bart Schroeder at Rogers, and my father [Ova Tate], a former police officer who coached AAU. I always wanted to coach, and I always wanted to help youth.”
Tate slowly built his coaching resume before completing his bachelor’s degree at Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., in 2007.
He was an assistant coach at Columbus (Ohio) Marion-Franklin (2002-03), Ohio State-Newark (2002-03), and Columbus State Community College (2003-04) before becoming the head coach at Columbus State (2004-06).
He moved on to St. Augustine’s College, an NAIA Division II program in Raleigh, N.C., as an assistant and recruiting coordinator (2006-08), then to Tiffin University as an associate head coach (2008-09), and to Lane College in Jackson, Tenn. (2009-12) as an assistant coach in the women’s program.
Last season, he coached at Heartland Christian in Columbiana, Ohio.
LAKE COMMITS: St. John's Jesuit outfielder T.J. Lake, who will be a senior this fall, has verbally committed to continue his baseball career at West Virginia University.
This past season, Lake helped the Titans to a 23-3 overall record and a Three Rivers Athletic Conference championship.