Travis Trice Sr. changed the profile of Wayne boys’ basketball in 10 seasons as head coach.
He won seven conference titles and a state championship at the helm of the Warriors.
The program is one of the best in the state, a known name nationally now among college basketball recruiters.
His former players will be suiting up at Iowa, Wisconsin and the University of Dayton, among other colleges, this winter.
The reason for the change might surprise you.
This is not one of those cases where a successful coach was pushed aside by a nosy administration or impatient parents, although you could call this a family matter.
Simply put, the 45-year-old Trice is going to coach the girls team at Wayne this winter because his daughter, Olivia, asked him to.
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“To be real honest with you it was on a trip to Pittsburgh for my daughter’s tournament in May,” Trice recalled recently. “She said, ‘Dad, you know the camaraderie dad that you have with your former players?’
“I said, ‘Yeah I do. Why do you say that?’”
The coach had just had a birthday, and his well-wishers included Wayne alumni Xeyrius Williams and Trey Landers (both playing at UD), Ahmad Wagner (Iowa), Markus Crider (a four-year contributor at Georgia State) and Rodrick Caldwell (Bowling Green).
Olivia Trice, then a sophomore at Wayne, noticed how they interacted with her dad, who also coached her brothers Travis Jr., D’Mitrick and Isaiah.
And since her team was lacking a coach after Sonya Miller’s resignation, she had an idea.
“She was like, ‘Our girls could really use that.’ And I said, ‘You know, you all could. You deserve that.’”
His eyes widened for a moment as he retold the story.
“I’m thinking it’s just a good casual conversation, and she pauses and she stops and says, ‘Well, since you know we can use it and we don’t have a coach, why wouldn’t you consider coaching us?’ And that was that moment.”
Fast forward a few months and he was in the gym enjoying a new challenge.
“I’ve had a great run with the young men we’ve had an impact on in their lives, and I’ve seen some of the things the girls have gone through,” Trice said. “And with my daughter being a junior, just the timing was right.”
His first team won’t be lacking talent.
Wayne has won at least 20 games two seasons in a row and is loaded again.
Junior Destiny Bohanan recently committed to Dayton while senior Maya Dunson signed with Loyola.
Nyla Hampton’s offers include UD, Miami University and Ball State while Dominque Camp is being courted by Marquette and multiple MAC programs, among others.
Freshman Bree Hall has not played a varsity game yet, but her list of offers already includes Dayton, Michigan State, Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio State.
Then there is of course Olivia Trice.
Now a junior guard, she has offers from Iona, IUPUI and Detroit. The Ivy League is also a possibility for Travis Trice’s daughter, who is getting to see a lot more of her dad these days.
“Over the last couple of years, my relationship has been watching the games and then talking to her afterward, so I haven’t really been able to pour into her like I have the boys being at practice,” Trice Sr. said.
“So right now the things that have happened for her over the last couple of months has been a direct result of she’s a student of the game, she understands basketball.
“Now that I’m at practice with her and spending more time with her on an every-day basis, I see the improvement happening quickly for her.”
And to make that happen, all she had to do was ask.