Who’s the best coach in the Flint area? He’s in Buctown, baby

Posted: February 11, 2010 by Jared Field in High School

A few names comes to mind immediately when asked the question: Flint Hamady’s Archy Robinson, Swartz Creek’s Jeremy Trent, Goodrich’s Gary Barnes, Flint Powers’ Tim Herman and Grand Blanc’s Chris Belcher.

But, as I watched Saginaw High take on Flint Powers on Sunday at Delta College it hit me: Flint Beecher’s Mike Williams is the best coach in the Flint-area. Period.

Let’s just consider what would happen to an average coach whose top two returning players decided to transfer? Let’s just say that one of those players was a three-year varsity starter (Taron Boose) and the other a high major prospect in the class of 2012 (Javontae Hawkins). What would happen? That average coach might start off the season 0-7, but I’m certain he wouldn’t go 9-0 from that point on.

But that’s exactly what Mike Williams has done.

Since the awful start, the  Bucs have gone undefeated and garnered wins over two class A city schools — Flint Southwestern and Northwestern, the city champs. And, oh by the way, this team’s leading scorer, Monte Morris, is merely a freshman.

I  understand that the Flint area’s coaching fraternity isn’t what it used to be, but let’s give credit where credit is due.

  1. Hoops24 says:

    Williams is a good coach… though many schools could make the same argument. Look at all the players GB lost and they are in first place in the KLAA. Where would Goodrich be the last couple of years with Pokely, Kamieniecki and Boisture, yet they still took it to Buctown twice this year.

    • Jared Field says:

      Let’s not pretend like Goodrich didn’t get a boost from a couple GB kids over the past couple years — Mitch Vallie and Colin Angle come to mind.

      I think Belcher is a great coach. KLAA is a weak “Flint Metro” type league and they should dominate.

      What school gets less of a boost from transfers than Beecher?

      Buctown always gets better as the season progresses — always. In the past, everyone would talk about Flint Hamady until the playoffs, when they’d get punked by the Bucs.

      I know for 100% sure than no one gets more effort out of a team than Williams.

      Of the guys I’ve mentioned, only Herman and Williams have coached at the Breslin — though Trent did it as an assistant.

  2. jmill says:

    Williams gets my vote. He hands down out coached Northwesterns group of coaches. I sat behind the beecher bench during that game and he kept his team calm and told them they were going to win. He had a strategy and it worked.

  3. jhawk says:

    come on now Coach mike is a average coach but you gotta give the credit to Tim Herman for flint powers come on we won 2 big games back to back and were still improving running the break and playing solid D Coach herman is clearly the best coach in the area!

    • Jared Field says:

      It’s really, in my mind, a compilation of several factors.

      1.) Track record (wins/losses/championships)
      2.) Effort (i.e. how hard said coach’s team plays)
      3.) Patterns (i.e. does his team get better from start to finish)
      4.) Talent (this has to be a mitigating factor)

      Player development is not really a concern because, let’s face the fact, 99% of kids will be done with competitive basketball after high school. I’m concerned with coaches who develop great teams.

      • Hoops24 says:

        Jared.. you did a good job changing my mind. GB, Powers and Goodrich do receive transfers in. When it comes to playing the hand dealt after players leaving, Williams has done a great job.

      • Jared Field says:

        Don’t get me wrong, Barnes is a really good coach. His record speaks for itself.

  4. Gavin Raath says:

    Imagine if Coach Williams had Beecher kids like Jerrod Word, Reggie Stallings, Terrance Keaton, Dominique Allen, Taron Boose and Javontae Hawkins for four years. They would have been sick.

  5. SC Fan says:

    Got to think that Jeremy Trent in SC is among the best. SC could be on the verge of their first championship in 20 years. Looking at what he did at Bentley and now what he is accomplishing in his first year at SC, I’m a believer.

  6. It Ain't Right says:

    My only problem is Beecher played all their tough teams to start the year besides playin N-Dub a few weeks ago… they won all those games straight cuz the GAC is garbage besides them, Goodrich and Hamady.

  7. jhawk says:

    But the thing about coach mike he doesn’t know how to deal with good talent that’s exactly why taron and I transferred to better schools he puts them down one day then the next day he’s trying to give caring advice I been through it all and also they only won one big game and the rest are blowouts from the weak GAC conference but he’s probably in the top 10 top coachs in the area with coach herman being #1 then GB coach then soo on and soo on!

    • Marcellus Miller says:

      Good job sticking up for yours, but coach Herman would not be at the top of my list at all. Coach Trent would be ranked number 1 period. But that’s just me…to be at the top at the very least you have to be in control of your huddle at pivotal points in the game, not have any inherent favortism, be good at the x’s and o’s, be able to inspire, etc.

      • FlintStones says:

        3 out of 4 big 9 championships and making it to the Breslin Center 2 out of 4 years with 1 state championship. How is that not the best coach in the area, let alone in the state? Coach Herman is the best coach in the area for the fact that Powers lost the first game to Carmen, yet bounced back to blow them out 2 consecutive times to earn the Big 9. What other area coach has a better track record in that amount of time?

      • Jared Field says:

        I’ll just be honest, the reason Herman doesn’t get as much credit as Williams is because of the talent Powers attracts. I mean, just for instance, Hawkins will probably be the best player ever at Powers.

        And true, it’s not fair to Herman because we may never know if he coud win with Williams (or Trent’s) talent.

      • If making it to the Breslin and a state title were the only factors, then you would have a great point. But isn’t the best the one who does the MOST with the LEAST? What would happen if no Flint/GB players transferred to Powers? That is the question…

      • Oh yeah, and not sure the Big “9” thing is as big anymore…two horse race every year.

      • Jared Field says:

        Every time I think of the Big Nine as a bit of a joke, I have to stop and remind myself that it’s actually a big joke.

      • I would be remissed if I didn’t mention Lamont Torbert and the job he is doing at NW for the varsity girls. I know we were speaking of primarily boys teams here, but taking them from extremem bottom feeders to a factor this season is nothing short of amazing. I do also recognize that girls basketball in the area as a whole is WAY down, but Torbert deserves some credit for what he has done so far.

      • Jared Field says:

        He should get the next city job. I don’t know him personally, but he is really good in the huddle.

  8. so what!!! says:

    Coach Williams is definately hands down the best coach in the Flint area, with Coach Barnes (Goodrich) a close second. Coach Williams is probably top 3-5 coaches in the state with Coach Fife (Clarkston), Coach Guy (Muskegon Heights), Coach Herman (Powers), and Kalamazoo Christian’s coach in the convo for those accolades from my personal experience and understanding of coaching. Don’t get me wrong there are other programs I can think of in the UP (Negaunee, McBain, Cedarville), the 2-time state champions in Class D from Muskegon, Romulus, K-Zoo Central, and Detroit Pershing, whose programs have consistently over the last 7-10 years has developed into consistently winning programs, but coach Williams started with nothing and has placed Beecher back on a consistently winning plateau. Has helped developed players, developed and utilize very good coaches, and really cares about the people and community where he is working. I am a insider so I know first hand. Ta’ron was a good player, but as you see since he has transferred to Saginaw he has gotten none of the opportunities or accolades he recieved @ Beecher. Why? Is it due to the level of competition? Is he not appreciated like he was @ Beecher? Who knows and to be honest who cares? JHawk, LOL! He also has a a strong skill set for his size, very good, but would we know who he is if he wasn’t given the opportunity by coach Williams last year? All he could last year was shoot 3’s! He couldn’t defend when he first got to Beecher, other teams consistently picked his pocket when he dribbled. Coach Williams put him in the position, and gave him the opportunity to use his skill sets to help him, which in turn helped the team to be successful. He also helped developed JHawk to get better and continue to develop into a better basketball player. Coach Williams try to help develop attitude, but it is only so much a coach can coach on that , effort and attitude is innate, and makes the difference between a good player and a great player. Both Ta’ron and JHawk has unlimited potential, but their attitudes like any other athlete or person is on them. Coach Williams supported both of them the best he could. Gave them all the opportunity in the world, and I guess that wasn’t good enough. Sorry fellas, if you think that truthful criticism is tough to handle on this level, wait and see if you are lucky enough to get a chance on the next level. Coach Williams teaches fundamentals, positive attitudes, and team first values. NO PLAYER IS ABOVE THE TEAM. And in my opinion that is the way it is supposed to be. That is why Mr. Monte Morris,and Mr. Antionne Burks and many other athletes will be successful because Coach Courtney (Hawkins) and Coach Williams and other Beecher coaches truly care about their players, and the they believe that fundamental individual, community, and team values are first and foremost, before you even began to start coaching X’s and O’s! No disrespect to anyone else, this is just what I know from my own personal experience with Buc-town athletics!

    • Marcellus Miller says:

      Coach Fife is a HUGE recruiter as well…discredits the coaching acumen in my opinion.

      • It Ain't Right says:

        I don’t care that he does… he is still the best coach hands down

      • Marcellus Miller says:


      • Jared Field says:

        Good coach…good recruiter…not great in my opinion.

      • Even with all the recruiting, has he won a title? That has to count for something right? Good in the regular season means little one would think in the grand scheme of things.

      • Now that’s mainly because of the recruiting. No matter who the coach is, you won’t win a title without proper talent. But if you recruit the proper talent and still don’t win, well….

      • Hoops24 says:

        Marcellus….good game this Friday night in Goodrich againt NW. I know you said you hadn’t seen them play yet this year. Should be a good gauge for them againt NW.

      • You’re right and I wish I could go to that contest. Unfortunately, I will be in Saginaw so will have to depend on recaps from colleagues and others such as yourself so give me a good summary.

      • It Ain't Right says:

        Ummm…. he never loses to inferior talent and usually beats teams he shouldn’t. He just had a tough time getting past the Saginaw schools when they have had big ten and big east talent and his best players were walk-ons at Oakland… His kids are better prepared than anyone else around.

  9. so what!!! says:

    And if my other long post get posted then add this, Powers recruits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. jhawk says:

    well when i transferred to powers and even playing with them over the summer my game went to a higher and better level which coach mike williams didnt prepare me……..but im at powers now getting offers on the table by various of schools and recieving a good education which was the first mindset to go there i think this was the best transfer to make and leaving a violent area such as (Buctown) where i can go to college with a good thing on my transcript such as Powers Catholic High school and im not a recruit to all the beecher haters!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Simmer down Hawk….you don’t owe any of us an explanation for your move. Nobody is questioning your ability and in actuality YOU put in the work to be better. No coach can take full credit, but if you got a piece from one coach, piece from another, etc., then you allowed yourself to be a sponge and soak up the knowledge and training they providing. Trust me, a coach is only as good as his players’ willingness to learn and adapt. That’s real talk.

    • so what!!! says:

      JHAwk, I never put you down, I would never put any kid down, I don’t care what you said or what you did. But truth is truth. I said you had a very good skill set, I didn’t say anything personally about you to put you down. Your young, so I understand that your understanding/perspective is not that of MAN, so please you shouldn’t take things so personally. Why are you even on these blog sites? Listening and responding to people. Why would you put down the Beecher community? Did they not embrace you, take you in? Just because the coach gave you some hard criticism, that was tough to swallow from time to time, now he isn’t coach? LOL! Wait, if your lucky enough to get the next level, whether it be JUCO, NAIA, D3, D2, or D1, those coaches will rip you up and down, back and forth, and side to side, and then tell you to go run home, because it doesn’t matter, they can save you now. Instead, it probably feels good to be catered to, ego stroked, everybody telling you how good you are, because compliments feel good. Well, they may help you feel good, but if no one honestly tells you what you should improve and how to improve them how are you ever going to improve? And sometimes the only way to really get someone’s attention is to communicate out of the ordinary, so they will really listen. Yeah, it may go in 1 ear and out of another because you don’t like the way it sounds, or it may have been delivered in a manner you didn’t like, but did it make sense? Was it honest? Sometimes, I’m not saying all the time, but more so than not, FOCUS ON THE MESSAGE AND NOT THE MESSENGER! The only things that you should concern yourself with is the things that you can take care off! Everything else is irrelevant. That is what I’m talking about with attitude. That is how I know your is not really focused. The good thing is you have time. And I want all kids to succeed, but sometimes there is no sugar to go down with medicine!

  11. jhawk says:

    You right I did put in the work but coach herman had me at his best intrest and took me in as if I was there last year unlike last year at beecher when I was consistantly being put down by coaches which basically saying we don’t need you and you can leave soo I choose the right path where real education and real fundamentals of basketball is taught and to be honest man man and cortez robinson is going to be the best that ever came out of beecher as long as they play with solid aau teams and good camps during the summer and I’m consistantly working with Cortez Robinson almost everyday because that’s my boy and I also want to see him succeed in life and basketball!

    • It Ain't Right says:

      Jhawk don’t worry what people say on this site. It honestly doesn’t matter. I’ve seen you play a few times and your ceiling is very high, just keep up the good work. From reading your posts, it seems your a great kid too. Just keep working hard and improving your game. You did what was best for you and their is nothing wrong wit that. Good luck the rest of the way.

  12. hb says:

    everybody knock it off! Coach Torbert @ N-Dub is da best! boys or girls. Basketball goes way beyond skills and drills. Anyone who can (repeatiately)take a kid who are not good at all (to be honest) and develop life long attributes as well as basketball skills that go long beyond basketball. most of the time, NW is undersized, but the heart and confidence usually trumps whatever else the other team has planned. they run very little plays ( transition game), intimidating defense, and a fun style of ball. its a beautiful thing to see their kids start to understand and appreciate their hard work and see it pay off on the floor. i question whether or not kids at other schools possess the HEART to play for NW. It takes a special kind of kid. These kids see it everyday, and Coach has somehow managed to turn that negative into a great positive! Let alone, they may actually get a scholorship to college. ANY college. we need more Coach Torberts!

  13. Be Cool Cuz says:

    To all the young men being recruited to different high schools than your home district. You must ask yourself if the schools would want you there if you couldn’t play ball. Do you hear of kids being recruited for academics? If you got injured and could never play again would they want you at their respective schools? Be very careful about going public with criticism of people that gave you opportunities in your past. Most often what you say about someone else says more about yourself (character) then you realize. Recruiters are especially interested in the character of young black men. Young men today have such a sense of entitlement at such an early age its ridiculous. When you encounter someone that makes you earn your way you become bitter. Be aware of people that tell you what you want to hear. They don’t have yor best interest in mind. [

  14. Be Cool Cuz says:

    To all young men that are recruited to high schools out of your district. The first thing you should ask yourself is would these schools want you if you weren’t an athlete? How many kids are recruited for academics? If you lose the ability to play sports would they want you at their schools? Be very careful of criticizing people in your past that have given you opportunities. It often says more about your character or lack of it then the people you criticize. Young men today have a big sense of entitlement at such a young age. They want to be given instead of working.You can’t create opportunity just be ready when and if it comes.

  15. the real hurts says:

    Thank you be cool cuz!!! I’ve been around high school basketball for about 30 years and it hurts me to see the young brothers of to day get recruited/pimped for their athletic ability. I wish I were a coach today, only today can u open the flint journal and pick the players that you want to take from other teams and go and recruit them. It seems so easy, tell them or their parents how good they can be and what the coach isn’t doing right and ur in. When I played and coached, you earned everything u got, you were promised nothing, and parents would not dare undermind a coach. Glenn Rice, Andre Rison, Tolbert and Peterson would have never left NW and had to earn everything they have like real men do. Spartans Courtney Hawkins, Moe Cleaves and Charlie Bell would have never left their high schools or coaches and all still have great relationships with their coaches. They all made it because they earned it plain and simple. The kids of today are spoiled and run to their parents and soon as things get tough. Until the players of today man up and stop running to the coaches who promise them and their parents the world, none of the 2012 or 2013 players will be goin to far. MAN UP!!!!!

  16. Be Cool Cuz says:

    I have a few questions that maybe someone can answer for me. I know high school athletic recruiting is against the M.H.S.A.A. rules. Is it so common now that these kids don’t know it? If a coach directly or indirectly recruits you isn’t he cheating? Isn’t that a message to young people that you can cheat as long as you don’t get caught? How is that good character? Private schools cost a lot of money. The average family can’t afford it (tuition) even if you are catholic and get help from a church in the case of Catholic schools. That’s why in the past they couldn’t attract superior talent. Who’s paying these kids tuition?
    Usually the kids and/or the program is punished and the coach chalks up a few loses and moves on or starts over the next season (Mike Talley Melvindale A.B.T.)

  17. Be Cool Cuz says:

    One more question. If it is found out that a high school athlete receives benefits from someone outside of family (tuition payments etc.) doesn’t that put his college eligibility in jeopardy? Chris Webber comes to mind. This might be another case of it’s not wrong because everybody does it. Oh well, who knows right from wrong anymore.

  18. WOW says:

    Jovontae Hawkins is retarded as he11!!!! he a good player but is basketball IQ is very low

  19. […] coach: Jeremy Trent (right), Swartz Creek — Everyone knows who I think is the best coach in the Flint area. That being said, in 2009-10, Trent deserves the nod. In his first season, he […]

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