Zach Napont Takes Over Gaylord Boys Basketball Program
GAYLORD — Zach Napont has taken over as the head boys basketball coach at Gaylord High School. Gaylord promoted Napont to coach the varsity team after one season coaching the junior varsity team.
Napont attended Boyne City High School and helped lead the Ramblers to a state semifinal appearance as a senior in 2015.
Coaching the Gaylord JV team last season was his first experience as a head coach. Napont, 24, said he understands his young age will lead to challenges early on.
“I think just getting the kids to buy in and trust me even though a lot of them don’t look at me as that much older than them, and I’m not. So that’s going to be one of the biggest struggles, separating that I am your coach even though some of you guys might be taller than me and some of them may even look older than I do,” Napont said.
Napont worked as a manager for the University of Michigan men’s basketball team while in college. He said he hopes to implement what he learned being around legendary Wolverines head coach John Beilein into his own coaching.
“A lot of times coaches want you to just accept what they say and move on,” Napont said. “I’m a big ‘why?’ guy, you know, ‘why are we doing this? Why is Coach asking me to do these things? What are my expectations?’ So I’ve learned to be very straightforward with the parents and the kids and to be very detail-oriented in everything that I do.”
Gaylord finished with an 0-7 record last season. Napont stressed the program can start fresh.
“I’ve been telling the kids that everything from the day I took over and before, we’re throwing it out the window,” he said. “Just because I don’t like to hold on to any problems that were had or I don’t want to hold on to any poor records that we’ve had in the past. I told them this is a brand new start and hopefully we can surprise a lot of people.”