Joshua Staley was officially introduced as the new Ridge View boys basketball coach at a press conference at the school Wednesday, April 27.
“They wanted me really bad,” Staley said. “They made me feel wanted. I was fighting hard not to leave, but they really made me feel like they wanted me here. Sometimes when it’s easy to walk through a good door you just have to do it.”
Staley, a former state championship winning head coach at A.C. Flora, replaces Yerrick Stoneman, who won four state championships in five seasons with the Blazers including this past season.
“This is kind of my story,” Staley said. “When I took the O-W job, there had been a legendary head coach there, so the standards were very high. When I got to A.C. Flora, they were coming off a state championship. Now we are here at another program with a very high standard. They play on a national level. We just have to get to work and get the most out of our kids.”
Staley had been at A.C. Flora since 2014 and won the 2015-2016 Class 3A State Championship. He also guided the Falcons to state championship appearances at the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season and the 2021-2022 season.
He said it won’t be tough when he has to return to A.C. Flora next year as an opposing coach because he left the Falcons on good terms.
Staley comes to Ridge View at a time of transition both on and off the court. Not only is Staley replacing Stoneman, who will take over at Oak Hill Academy; but he will also help the Blazers transition back to the 4A classification after two seasons as a member of 5A. Along with rejoining 4A, Ridge View will now be a member of Region 5-4A, where Staley’s former team, A. C. Flora, also resides.
Along with coming off another state championship, Ridge View has also gained some notoriety with the recruitment of highly ranked prospect G.G. Jackson, who announced his college intentions on Wednesday as well.
“If I have the opportunity to coach G.G., that will be great,” Staley said. “I’m just excited about the type of kid he is. He works hard. I’m excited about all the kids. I know a lot of the kids in this program. We want to get to work and be the best we can possibly be here.”