Travis Trice, who resurrected Wayne boys basketball and won a Division I state championship in 2015, has been named the Warriors’ girls high school basketball coach.
The unexpected coaching switch was approved by the Huber Heights board of education Thursday. The position opened when Sonya Miller resigned after four seasons as the girls coach.
“I’m excited and it’s something that’s new for me,” said Trice, who credited Wayne athletic director and football coach Jay Minton for initiating the switch. “I got to a place where I need something new. I need to re-energize my batteries. The timing is right and the situation was right. The boys program is in a great place.”
Trice, 45, guided the Wayne boys for 10 seasons and immediately elevated the Warriors among the state’s best big-school programs. His teams won six outright Greater Western Ohio Conference divisional titles (shared another) and regularly made deep postseason runs. A former player at Purdue and Butler, Trice groomed many players who also excelled collegiately.
Two Wayne grads currently playing at the University of Dayton are Xeyrius Williams and Trey Landers. Other Wayne grads playing collegiately are Trice’s son D’Mitrik Trice (Wisconsin), Ahmad Wagner (Iowa), Rodrick Caldwell (Bowling Green) and Chazz George (Findlay).
Trice’s oldest son, also named Travis, was a key player during Michigan State’s NCAA Final Four run in 2015. He recently completed a second stint in the NBA Development League. Another son, Wayne senior Isaiah Trice, has signed to play at Sinclair Community College.
Trice’s overall record with the Wayne boys is 197-49, including 15-9 this past season. His success at Wayne has coincided with numerous transfers to the school and program, a reputation the football program also shares.
“The winning happens when people want to be part of your program because of the things that you stand for,” he said. “That’s the thing that makes the most sense for me.”
The Wayne girls had breakout success the last two seasons, posting a 25-2 record in 2015-16 and 20-5 this past season. Mostly underclassmen, the Warriors girls also are loaded with returning D-I recruits. Junior Maya Dunson has verbally committed to Loyola University Chicago. Junior Shai McGruder and sophomores Destiny Bohannon and Mali Morgan-Elliott also are ranked among the state’s best by MaxPreps.
Yet another Trice sibling, sophomore guard Olivia Trice, is a two-season starter for the Wayne girls.
“Being around the girls, I had a comfort level with them and they have a comfort level with me,” Travis Trice said. “I truly feel I’m the right person for the job. There are some people who won’t understand and most people will think you just want to coach your daughter. I don’t think that’s something I need to apologize for.”
Trice landed the Wayne position after serving as Larry Ham’s top assistant, first at Springfield then at Trotwood-Madison. Trice also coached for a season at Clark State. He also has coached girls AAU basketball.
“I’ve got some things I’ll need to learn and focus in on,” he said. “I don’t claim to be an expert on that, but basketball is basketball at the end of the day. There’s a lot more things you’ll deal with on an emotional level that will be different. I’m ready for that challenge.”
The Wayne boys position has not been filled.