WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Westerville South boy’s basketball coach Ed Calo reached another milestone Friday night when his Wildcats beat rival Westerville North 55-37.
The win marked No. 500 for Calo who has been the head coach at South since 1987. Calo is the longest-tenured active head boys’ basketball coach in the OCC.
“You think of a lot of things during that time,” Calo said. “You think about all the assistant coaches, you think about all the players that have come through. It’s a lot of effort by a lot of different people.”
Calo is now the first Central Ohio coach to win 500 games at one program.
“From my end it’s service,” he said. “You’re doing the Lord’s work by serving other people and serving young kids and in return the benefit of developing relationships with young people is incredible.”
Calo began his coaching career in 1980 when he served as an assistant coach at both Grove City and Franklin Heights high schools. In 1986, he served as an assistant for one year at Westerville South before being elevated to head coach.
“It’s really special when Father’s Day comes up and I get a lot of texts and emails from former players,” Calo said. “I think that’s the greatest gift of all.”
Calo has been a father figure to countless young men who he says aren’t so young anymore.
“Some of the older guys are old guys now cause I’ve been around so long,” he said. “If I look at my first couple teams, these guys are old!”
One of those guys is Jermaine Guice who was part of Calo’s first team in 1987. Guice is now Westerville South’s girls basketball head coach.
“He makes me feel like ‘What am I doing wrong?’ He’s looking like what he was looking like when he coached me!” Guice said.
Jermaine was a part of Calo’s first ever win 35 years ago and his son, Jaiden, was a part of the legendary coach’s 500th win Friday.
“I know continuing his legacy and also my dad’s legacy is very special to me,” said Jaiden whose a senior at South. “He’s dedicated to us and he’s dedicated to his entire program, and that’s why he’s been able to have so much success.”
Even though having a former player’s son makes him feel old, Calo says it’s an even bigger blessing.
“What’s really nice is the fact that they would want their son to play for me and have that kind of relationship with the son,” Calo said.
Guice spent 10 seasons as an assistant at South before taking over the girls’ program in 2019. He says learning under Calo for so long has made him a better coach and person.
“I feel Coach Calo made me the person and player I became and coach I can say now,” Guice siad. “I had the opportunity to come back home so to speak . . . so I definitely wanted my son to be a part of that to shape him and mold him in the right way.”