To Coach Pacers

Brooke Todd (right) talks with Hanover College head coach John ones during a game late in the 2019-20 season. Todd has been named the new head girls basketball coach at Switzerland County High School, her alma mater.

David Todd said he first realized that his daughter Brooke would one day become a basketball coach when he saw pictures of her in the newspaper. Nearly every photo was of her taking charge on the court.

“Most of the game shots were shots of her communicating on the court with her teammates,” the former Switzerland County head boys basketball coach said of his daughter. “I remember one her freshman year in college when she was taking the lead amongst other kids on the team.”

David Todd’s instincts proved correct and a little over a year after graduating from Hanover College, Brooke Todd is now the new girls basketball coach at Switzerland County, the program she led to a regional championship game six years ago.

Todd replaces Mark Boggs at the helm of the Pacers. Boggs, who went 50-45 in four seasons on the bench, was recently named principal at Switzerland County Middle School.

While Todd’s father saw a future in coaching for his daughter, Brooke wasn’t as sure. She had always entertained the idea, but it wasn’t until recently that she decided to give it a serious look.

“I certainly didn’t think that when I graduated from college last year that coaching would be my next step,” Brooke said with a laugh. “I helped out with the team last year and got to be around them, but it wasn’t until we had the sudden change with Mark’s departure that I gave it a serious look. I decided just to go for it.”

While Todd is still young, she is the same age that her high school coach, Ashley Kitts, was when she started coaching. Like Todd, Kitts was a former standout at Switzerland County who was one year removed from graduating from college when she was tapped to replace legendary coach Wayne Ellegood with the Pacers.

Kitts faced a rebuilding operation in her first season with only one starter — Eve Galbreath — back from the year before but a talented group of freshmen. One of those freshmen was Todd, who ended her career with a regional finals appearance on her resumé and the school’s career scoring record, which has since been broken by Aleah Thomas.

Todd has remained close to Kitts, who resigned five years ago after she also transitioned to school administration, and plans on leaning on her as a resource.

“I played for Ashley for five years because she was my middle school coach the year before so I learned a lot from her,” Todd said. “I have been fortunate to be around a lot of really good coaches, from Ashley to (John Jones) and (Chris) Hitchcock and everybody at Hanover College. I have taken a little from each of them. Each has taught me a lot about the game.”

Unlike Kitts, Todd will not face a rebuilding operation in her first year. The Pacers won 18 games last season before falling in the sectional championship and return three starters from that squad led by twin sisters Jessie and Maddie Duvall.

Todd said she doesn’t plan on doing too much differently than what Boggs did with the group, but there are always tweaks that can be made.

“I’m super excited to be with this group. We have a great group of seniors who are experienced and ready to go but at the same time, we have a nice young group of sophomores that are very talented,” Todd said.

“There are always things that can be done and little things we’ll do differently here and there, but I was around Mark all last year and I know the way that he did things and it won’t be that much different.”

Todd noted she does feel pressure to win right away considering how experienced the team is, but she also doesn’t want to limit herself to just a sectional title.

“We want to win the sectional but we also don’t want it to be the end goal of the season. Why not win a game in the regional or later in the state tournament?” Todd said. “Our thing is that we are going to work hard and be the hardest-working team on the floor and if we do that, the other stuff will come. We’ll concentrate on the first five games, and then the next five and so on and worry about the postseason later. By the time we get there, we’ll be ready.”

Todd is not the only athletic hire made by Switzerland County High School recently. Brian Graham, a former head boys basketball coach at Rising Sun, was employed as athletic director to replace Boggs. Graham officially starts work next week. Also, David Todd has been hired as the new head boys soccer coach.