South Kitsap’s former head boy’s basketball coach John Callaghan is now in the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“It’s a pretty humbling experience,” Callaghan said, adding he was nominated by Brian Cox, Callaghan’s former assistant coach and head boys basketball coach at South Kitsap High School.
The WIBCA ceremony took place July 21 at Nile Center in Mountlake Terrace. Callaghan brought a handful of guests.
“It was awesome,” Callaghan said. “My daughter Kelsey and son Ryley introduced me… A few of the guys I coached with and my family were there so it was really nice.”
Callaghan coached at South Kitsap for 21 seasons. He won 304 games and led the Wolves to six-consecutive 4A state playoffs from 2000-2005.
“I was really lucky,” Callaghan said. “We had some great players come through the program so that obviously helped. The guys I coached with over the years made it happen, too. They may not have gotten the credit but they did much of the work. I’m really appreciative of all those guys.”
Some notable players during Callaghan’s tenure include Cox, son Ryley Callaghan, Derrick Webb and many more. Webb played at Western Washington before playing overseas for the Licher Bears in Germany’s second division.
“They were a huge part,” Callaghan said. “Our guys were great on and off the court representing our school and community.”
After retiring and receiving a hall of fame induction, Callaghan now coaches alongside his son at Olympic College. He decided to take on an assistant role so he can take the stress off himself and focus more on his family.
His mindset nowadays isn’t to further his legacy. Instead, he wants to help influence the next generation of basketball players.
“I want to make a difference with the kids,” Callaghan said. “The biggest thing is being a positive influence. I think I did a pretty good job there.”