Smith-Cotton has a new boys basketball coach. Brennan Scanlon was hired in a closed session of the Sedalia School District 200 school board on Monday. Scanlon replaces Ray Hughes, who left following two seasons at Smith-Cotton.
“I think Smith-Cotton was a good fit for me,” Scanlon said. “It’s a bigger school and there are more kids interested in basketball. I just wanted to play the best competition I could.”
Scanlon just finished his seventh year as the boys varsity coach at Mexico, Mo., compiling a 134-57 record. That includes a three-year stretch from the 2010-11 season through 2012-13 in which his teams lost a total of eight games and won three district championships.
Before Mexico, Scanlon coached Elsberry High north of St. Louis for three years and was an assistant coach at Rock Bridge, Fayette and Central Methodist.
“We are very excited to have Brennan Scanlon as our boys basketball coach,” said Smith-Cotton athletic director Rob Davis in a press release from the district on Tuesday. “He brings with him experience as a head coach of successful programs and has shown the ability to build consistent winners. He has a passion for basketball but also has a passion for developing young men. As he builds basketball programs, he builds a family atmosphere with his team and understands the importance of chemistry built through open communication. I believe he will fit perfectly into our community.”
Scanlon said that he liked to play an up-and-down brand of basketball, but he will fit the style of play to the players he has on the roster.
“You’ve just got to know your personnel and get to know your players,” he said. “It can change from year to year. I’ve had all kinds of teams.”
He also wants to get to work building the program beyond the varsity level.
“If you want a successful program, all those things are involved,” he said. “You’ve got to start from the bottom and have camps and have leagues. That’s something we’ve built at Mexico. You want to win immediately, but to have that long term program, you’ve got to start from the ground up. The seniors graduating this year from Mexico, I had as sixth graders. You watch them mature. You have that bond with them. That makes it special.”
Scanlon played at Rock Bridge and was a USA Today High School Basketball All American in 1996 and 1997 and a McDonald’s All American in 1997. He played for three years at Central Missouri and is still the Mules’ all-time leader in career assists with 406. He then played one season at Central Methodist.
Scanlon comes from a basketball coaching family. He is the son of Jim Scanlon. His brother Blair Scanlon is the coach at California and his uncle Mark Scanlon is the coach at West Central Conference rival O’Hara.
“It’s always what we’ve done,” he said. “We’ve been around the game for a long time.”