EMMA — Ask anyone associated with Westview basketball, and you’ll hear that the program is like a family.
Over the years, one family in particular — the Yoders — have contributed much to the program both as players, and also as coaches.
Rob Yoder has been the Warriors’ head coach for 11 seasons now after taking over for Troy Neely, who led Westview to back-to-back state championships in 1999 and 2000.
Over that time, Yoder’s resume includes six sectional championships, three regional titles, and now a semistate crown with last week’s 65-58 win over No. 2 Lewis Cass in the Class 2A Northern Semistate.
Now, Yoder has a chance to guide the Warriors to their third state championship and first of his tenure.
But the Warriors have a tough challenge ahead in No. 1 Indianapolis Park Tudor.
Yoder said he and Neely, the former Warrior head coach, are longtime friends.
Yoder’s basketball philosophy focuses on motion offense and man-to-man defense. He learned both sides of the game from his coach at Hardin-Simmons University, Dennis Harp.
His cousin Rusty, meanwhile, brings a perspective of set plays from his time playing for former college and NBA coach Bill Musselman.
It’s all about bringing together different styles and finding something that works, Yoder said.
“I’ve learned a lot from all the people I’ve had contact with over the years,” Yoder said. “I have to give credit to a lot of people for the success we’ve had.”
That, he said, includes former coach Neely.
The Warrior staff includes four coaches who played at Westview.
Rob Yoder, a 1988 Westview graduate, played both basketball and soccer at the school. At the time he graduated, he was Westview’s leading scorer in soccer.
And his basketball coach senior year? None other than his good friend and mentor Neely.