CEDAR RAPIDS — Matt Uthoff had a decision to make.
He could continue coaching a West Delaware boys’ basketball program that he has molded into a consistent winner, then resign in a few years so he could watch his young daughters as they ultimately worked their way up to the varsity level at the school.
Or he could leave the boys’ program and take the opportunity to lead the girls’ program now, so it perhaps can be up and running successfully in time for his daughters to play for it and him.
Option B was the decision.
“What it comes down to is I have two daughters, one that will be a sixth-grader and one that will be a fourth-grader,” Uthoff said Monday after the West Delaware school board accepted Rod Conrad’s resignation and named Uthoff the Hawks’ new varsity girls’ head coach. “They are absolute basketball junkies. My wife and I have kind of talked the last couple of years about if and when the girls’ job ever came open, would I be interested so I coach my daughters down the road? That was the leading charge.”
Uthoff, a West Delaware grad, went 98-65 in seven seasons as WD’s boys’ coach, including a pair of trips to the state tournament. The 2017 Hawks went 25-2 and finished fourth in Class 3A.
West Delaware was 6-16 this past season, but all seven guys who played in a substate quarterfinal overtime loss to Dubuque Wahlert return for 2020-21.
“Tough to leave the group we have coming back,” Uthoff said. “We have a group that when I took the job seven years ago was in third and fourth grade. I’ve seen those kids grow up, they have been a big senior class and a successful senior class. So that was the only real reservation I had.”
West Delaware went 2-20 on the girls’ side this past season, but apparently there is a lot of potential talent at the middle-school level.
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Uthoff’s oldest daughter is Baileigh, his youngest girl Tenleigh. He and wife, Heather, also have a son, Jaxson, who is in first grade.
“A new challenge,” he said. “I think there is a ton of talent here in our school, the girls’ side as well. It’s a huge goal of mine to get the girls’ program to where it should be.”
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