PARKERSBURG – Coach’s Deli in Tucson, Ariz., Was like visiting memory lane for the coaching career of Doug Hoselton.
Among the pictures displayed throughout were images ranging from his first game to his final game.
The first game dated all the way back to 1973 when Hoselton – with no prior coaching experience in basketball and recently graduated from Glenville State College – accepted a request from four students at Parkersburg Catholic who stopped by his office about coaching girls basketball.
Hoselton – a 1968 graduate of Parkersburg High School – and the inaugural Parkersburg Catholic girls basketball team eventually won the West Virginia Catholic State Tournament that same season.
Last Wednesday at his home in Buckeye, Ariz., Hoselton died at the age of 71.
“I remember going into Doug’s office about creating a team – we were scared,” said Marianne Rice, who was a junior on that team and now lives in Vienna, Va. “I thought to myself, ‘is he really going to want to do this.’ Here we are, a bunch of girls. Title IX was just starting to take a hold. He was just out of college. I didn’t know what to expect.
“He told us, he would do it, but he had to know we were committed, too. I do know he didn’t take it lightly. He was all in. ”
Hoselton, who coached PCHS through 1980, transitioned straight into the college level. His stops included New Mexico University (1980-87), where he offered scholarships to Parkersburg High School’s Karen Hudson in his first season with the Lobos, and New Mexico State (1989-1993). After New Mexico shut down its program due to budget cuts, Hoselton spent one season at Penn State (1988-87) and is known for recruiting Susan (Robinson) Frichtl from Doddridge. Robinson set the Nittany Lions’ school record for most points scored in a career and during her senior year was the recipient of the Wade Trophy as the women’s top player in college basketball.
“I don’t know,” Rice answered when asked if Hoselton would have chosen the path of coaching basketball had he not taken the PCHS program under his wing. “He was put in a unique situation and he just liked it so well. We may have set a lot for his life as much as he influenced ours. ”
The lone senior on the first girls team at PCHS, Monica (Borkowski) Davis, was also among the group who turned to Hoselton. Since he was the physical education instructor at the school, Davis figured Hoselton was the logical choice.
“Once he got it started, Doug was the glue who put it together,” Davis said. “I don’t know if that first season helped him find a passion for it or maybe he saw his abilities because it was all new territory.
“Knowing him, and my faith, God had the right man at the right place at the right time.”
Before leaving PCHS, Hoselton racked up impressive numbers.One of the major achievements – an 88-game win streak which resulted in a back-to-back Class A state titles with the streak ending in an overtime loss in the 1979 state title game.
PCHS won the first two editions of the West Virginia Catholic State Tournament – an event created by Hoselton. Davis also noted the records set that first season of PCHS basketball.
“We set every record at Parkersburg Catholic High School that year – because there were none,” Davis said. “In the first game of the second season, they probably broke every one of those records because we didn’t keep statistics either.”
Many impressive female basketball players have filtered through the halls at PCHS. Yet, the groundbreaking team in 1973 paved the way for their success.
“If coach hadn’t started that when he did, the foundation that was solidified for the likes of Mary Ostrowski and her platform might not have been – a lot is owed to that man’s willingness,” Davis said. “To give the time, and with his wife’s support for him, Doug was the whole ball of wax and he turned it into a beautiful candle for girls basketball.
“He was everything and he gave PCHS a starting point.”
Beyond the numbers, Hoselton is fondly remembered for creating a family atmosphere. Anytime one of his players suffered an injury on the court, he was the first to arrive and tend his player. That first season, they were coach assistant coach, trainer and bus driver all rolled up into one.
His door was always open. Conversations weren’t limited to just basketball. School issues or any non-school related issues could be put on the table.
“He has had an influence on me even to this day,” got Rice, who served as an assistant to Hoselton for one season. She will continue to play basketball at the age of 66 and will compete in the Senior Nationals in May in the summer.
“He always believed in us; he believed in our program. He backed us up and was always there for us, ” Rice said. “When I look back, he designed the basketball around the players he had. I could see that as teams changed over the years. He knew what strengths and weaknesses they had. They would gear his gameplan around that particular team.
“They also instilled that we were family – that we were all there for each other. That set the tone for so many things. I played in college and still love the sport, and that directly goes back to Doug and how he started us off.
“When I heard about Doug’s passing and even though I knew he was kind of sick, it didn’t seem real. In a way, certain people are immortal and you expect them to be there. It’s really sad. ”
Next season marks the 50th season of girls basketball at PCHS. Plans are being made to honor coach Hoselton.
“There were guys posting on social media – Doug lived to give and it didn’t matter if you played for him or did not for play for him,” Davis said. “That reunion next season, his light will be shining.”
Contact Kerry Patrick at email@example.com