Myers, postgraduate basketball return to MMA

Chad Myers

WOODSTOCK – Chad Myers has returned to Massanutten Military Academy, and he’s bringing postgraduate boys basketball back with him.

Myers, who coached MMA’s postgraduate program to national prominence in his two seasons at the school before stepping down in 2013, has resumed his former post as the Colonels’ head coach, the school announced this week. The postgraduate program was shut down in 2014 after 11 years of operation.

“I’m excited to be back at Massanutten,” Myers said Thursday morning. “I thought we had a really good thing going. I think it’s a great place for it. There’s so many different aspects that can help a young man’s life when they come here, whether that’s being accountable every day for what they’re doing, obviously helping them reach their goals of playing college basketball. I think the biggest importance is when they leave here that they’re ready to go to college as a student, an athlete, as a person. I think this place has helped so many people – especially the two years I was here, it changed a lot of guys’ lives.”

In Myers’ two seasons at the helm in 2011-12 and 2012-13, MMA’s postgraduate team posted an overall record of 58-12, made back-to-back National Prep Championship Elite 8 appearances for the first time in program history and earned a national No. 1 ranking in December 2012.

Myers said 18 former Colonels went on to sign with NCAA Division I schools in that two-year span. That list includes Kansas University starting point guard Frank Mason III and University of Maryland forward Damonte Dodd, former teammates at MMA who met on the court last month when the Jayhawks and Terrapins squared off in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16.

Myers said he’s coached 36 current Division I basketball players in some form over the last few years.

“I’m hoping to find the next guy, to help the next person and I think this is the place that does it in so many ways for the young men,” said Myers, who spent one season as the elite camp director for New Jersey-based Hoop Group and two years as the postgraduate head coach for Elev8 Sports Institute in Florida prior to his return to Woodstock.

The head coach joked that his goal in the postgraduate program’s first year of reinstatement at MMA is to win a national championship.

“I think the goal is to just find as many guys that we can help in the right way, find a way to help guys, whether it’s changing their life, changing their academics, whether it’s helping them as basketball players, whether it’s to mature,” Myers said. “I think those are our goals, not only to find a team for Massanutten (but) to find the right guys and the right people that represent themselves and school in the right way. And then if you do all that I think the wins and losses will take care of itself.”

The return of postgraduate basketball at MMA comes nearly two years after the program’s abrupt termination in June 2014 – less than two months before school was scheduled to open. The school’s Board of Trustees’ decision to cancel the program that year came during a period of significant change in which a former head of school and three other staff members resigned, and the school changed its name from Massanutten Military Academy to Massanutten Academy and back again while also making shifts in its academic focus.

Myers, who left MMA a year prior to the postgraduate program’s cancellation, said he’s received “tremendous” support from head of school Dr. David Skipper – who was the interim head of school when the program was discontinued – and the Board of Trustees in restarting the team.

“The administration is different,” Myers said. “Obviously some people that are here supported it before and liked what it was and think it can help the school. I think the school is going in the right direction too, by everything I’ve seen and heard, which is great. Obviously we can help each other, hopefully.”

Myers said MMA will play 30 to 35 games this winter and plans to host at least one, if not multiple, tournaments next January and February. He said he wants to schedule as many home games as possible in order to promote community involvement.

Myers, a Vinton native and a 2006 graduate of Shepherd University, said he hopes to have a roster of 15 to 16 players when the new school year begins in August, and he began the recruiting process in an official capacity on Thursday with the intent to have potential student-athletes visiting the campus as early as next week.

Myers has not yet assigned any assistant coaches.

Myers added that he hopes to hold camps at MMA later this summer that feature former players such as Mason and Dodd, who could help heighten the school’s allure for potential recruits.

“My first job was I’ve gotta go start putting their pictures back up in the gym,” he said with a laugh.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com