Obie Farmer was officially named the new Effingham High School Boys Basketball coach at the Effingham Unit #40 School Board meeting Monday.
Farmer is relieved about having the official title after serving as the interim coach this season.
"My coaching staff and I felt like it was a long interview process," Farmer said. "We wanted to go out and put the best product we could out on the court. We spent a lot of time game-planning, scouting and trying to put the kids in the best position they could. I felt like it worked out for us and we were successful. We made sure we were always prepared."
Farmer took over the team after former head coach Rem Woodruff stepped down following a 2-7 start to the season. After taking over, the team went 17-6 the rest of the way, including a pair of wins in the regional round of the playoffs before falling in the regional final.
"We just tried to teach them and explain things to them in different ways," Farmer said. "Every kid learns a little bit different. That worked out pretty well for us. We tried bringing a lot of intensity to practice. Cheering and clapping for guys who did a good job. We tried making it like a game environment in practice. It pushed the kids to their absolute best and gave them some positive reinforcement.
"Besides that, we held kids accountable. If they screwed up, we let them know. But on the flip side of that, if they did a really good job, we let them know they did a really good job. They've got to understand if they do something incorrectly, before they realize they need to fix it."
Upon first taking over, Farmer held a meeting with all of the parents making them aware of expectations.
"I had a parent meeting and came right out and told them 'if your kid comes home and says I called him out in practice or I yelled at him, it's probably true,'" Farmer said. "I told them I can't make these broad brush strokes saying 'we need to take care of the ball better.' They know I'm talking to them and that their play needs improvement. If you say those broad brush strokes, it can get glazed over or they don't know that you're talking about them. We made it very obvious who we were talking about when there were things needed to be changed."