Coaches Corner: John Harmatuk of Houston Cy-Springs

Contributing Editor,  A. W. “Gym Range” Robinson spends a few minutes in the D1 Nation Coaches Corner with Houston Cy-Springs Head Coach John Harmatuk
What is your alma mater?
Austin College


How long have you been coaching high school basketball?
9th season as a head coach, 13th overall
Who inspired you to get into coaching?
I always knew this was what I wanted to do. I grew up in a basketball household, where everything centered around the game. My dad is a big influence on me. So too is Randy Gilmer.
What is you favorite food?
Seafood / Steak
What teams will be the toughest games this year?
District play is tough. Cy-Falls and Langham Creek are always tough to play. Cy-Lakes is gonna be really tough. Cy-Woods is down in talent, but are used to winning. Ft. Bend Travis has three of the best players in Houston. Strake Jesuit is always talented. Klein Forest is always a great game when we play. Those are some of the few.
What is the most difficult task when coaching basketball?
All the extra voices in these kids ears. You are what you see and hear everyday. Too many people influence these kids in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. This has made basketball a very selfish game.

Who is you favorite college coach?
I’ve been studying a lot of Tom Izzo lately. So I’ll say him.
Give you definition of a good coach.
Positive but demanding. Teaches teamwork and toughness everyday on and off the court.
What music do you listen to before a game? I don’t listen before a game, but Biggie radio on Pandora is playing in the background as we do this interview.
Who is the best players you’ve ever coached?
I’ve been fortunate to coach some great players, the three most talented – Karon Bradley, Phillip McDonald (New Mexico), Erik Williams (Marquette). 
The three best kids I’ve coached – Randall Hopkins, Marquel McKinney, and Tim Hugele – They displayed a perfect team attitude & toughness. They gave everything they had to the team everyday for 4 years
What are some goals for this season?
We are going to be better defensively – “nothing easy” is our defensive motto. Also we need to get back to a feeling of teamwork and commitment to what we are trying to do. We have lost the spirit of team the last few seasons and we have played accordingly. I think this year we have kids who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. That is an important step towards becoming a good team.

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