Tradition important to new Catholic Central boys basketball coach

He’s only 25 years old, and he already has a master’s degree and six years of high school coaching experience under his belt.

That alone tells you that Cody Sarensen, who has been named the new boys head basketball coach at Catholic Central High School, is not afraid of hard work.

Another thing about this twentysomething first-time varsity head coach that might surprise you is that he is a traditionalist at heart, which explains his draw to the Fighting Irish program.

“I knew a lot about the tradition at Catholic Central, and that is something I take pride in,” said Sarensen, who just finished his first year as an intervention specialist at Keifer Academy in Springfield. He was drawn to Springfield because it is his fiancee’s hometown. “One of my main goals is to always to keep tradition alive.”

Sarensen succeeds Mitch McCurdy, who was only at the Catholic Central helm for one season. Central was 8-16 overall last season, and 4-10 in the Ohio Heritage Conference.

“Cody is disciplined, self-motivated and takes pride in all professional endeavors,” Irish athletic director Dan Shay said in a press release. “We are excited to have (him) join our staff and we look forward to the excitement he and his staff will bring to our program.”

Sarensen worked his way through the Lancaster City Schools system, starting as a junior high coach during his first year of college at Ohio University-Lancaster and working his way up to boys varsity assistant.

Sarensen said even he is surprised to become a head coach at such a young age.

“I was actually really shocked that I would get another round of interviews,” he said. “I know I am young, and it is going to be a new journey for me. There will be ups and downs, but I will use all my resources to give back to the Springfield community.”

Sarensen likes what he sees so far.

“I met with the kids today (Tuesday), and they seem like great kids,” he said. “I had a chance to watch them play a game or two this past season. I’m always big on effort and attitude, so I’m excited that they have that in place.”

Sarensen also started and has for the last five years run the NO LIMITS youth sports program in Lancaster.

“We use pride and inclusion to bring the city of Lancaster and Fairfield County together to give everyone regardless of ability a chance to play,” he said. “I taught special education for the city schools, so I saw that it was very needed.

“I’d love to get a NO LIMITS program started in Springfield,” he added.

Sarensen comes into his new job without any preconceived notions.

“I know some coaches have certain concepts and ideas they hold onto, but for me it depends on the kids and what they can do,” he said. “Regardless of how the game goes, every night you will see a competitive team that will give 100 percent.”