April 24, 2014

Elyria
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Girls basketball: Elyria hires coach Brian Arth, who brings championship pedigree

Brian Arth, a veteran girls basketball coach who led Cleveland Central Catholic to the Division III state championship in 2007, has been chosen to lead the girls program at Elyria High.

Arth

Arth

Arth, with a 175-74 record in 10 seasons as a head coach, was approved as Mike Walsh’s successor Wednesday night by the Elyria Board of Education. In a phone interview, Arth said he looks forward to the opportunity because of Elyria’s reputation for excellence in girls athletics.

“Elyria has to rank in the top five schools for girls sports in the state of Ohio,” he said. “They have excellent coaches and good, hard-working athletes who are focused and who want to excel.”

The Pioneers have won two softball state championships and one girls track title. Elyria has also been softball runner-up four times, including 2013.

Walsh resigned in May after 17 seasons as Elyria’s girls basketball coach, chiefly because he has a growing family. He also served two seasons as the boys hoops coach, and in 19 total seasons crafted a combined record of 272-157.

Arth said he has been friends with Walsh, Pioneers boys coach Brett Larrick and assistant coach Adam Larrick for years.

His first head coaching job was at Bay, where he compiled a 52-16 record in three seasons and led the Rockets to two district finals. He went on to coach two seasons at Perry, then moved to Cleveland Central Catholic. In 2007, CCC went 25-1 and posted a 51-45 victory over always-competitive Delphos St. John in the Division III state championship.

The star on that Central Catholic team was Jantel Lavender, who went on to star for four seasons at Ohio State and plays for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.

Arth has also coached girls teams at Beaumont and Trinity and was an assistant boys coach at Westlake.

“My philosophy is based on teamwork and our players trusting each other,” Arth said. “We play offense as a team and defense as a family. We work hard every second — in practice and in games.”

Arth played basketball at St. Edward High in Lakewood and at the University of Findlay. He and his wife, Sarah, have a son, Jaxson, and are expecting a daughter within the next few days. The family lives in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood.

Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.