By Adam Baum, Cincinnati Enquirer; Photo by Tony Tribble
After eight years as the head boys basketball coach at Aiken High School, Leon Ellison Jr. has been named the new boys head coach at Princeton, the school district announced Friday.
Ellison, the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference and Southwest District coach of the year this past winter, went 123-70 in eight seasons at Aiken, and is coming off a Division II state semifinal appearance with the Falcons.
"I spent eight years as head coach and two years as an assistant at Aiken," Ellison told Cincinnati.com Friday. "It's kind of bittersweet to leave because that program has kind of been my baby. It was definitely really hard, really emotional to have that conversation with Aiken, the administration has just been wonderful.
"I felt that a change was needed for myself and my family. When Princeton opened up I was really intrigued with the school and the program. It's a new opportunity to build relationships with kids and families at Princeton."
Ellison replaces former Xavier University player Jamal Walker at Princeton.
Ellison said the new school building and facilities, as well as a "good group of kids," and academics all made Princeton a desirable landing point.
"It's a good environment and it's a new challenge for me. It's a program that has the potential to be very successful ... I'd like to be a part of that building process like I was at Aiken," said Ellison.
Princeton's statement introducing Ellison said: "During his time at Aiken, he was named the District 16 Division II coach of the year, and the 2013-14 Enquirer Division IV coach of the year. He led the Falcons to one state final four appearance, two regional appearances, four district appearances, eight sectional championship games and two CMAC titles.
"Furthermore, eight students athletes received full-NCAA scholarships during his tenure at Aiken.
"Coach Ellison is known nationally for his work on the AAU circuit. He has coached the King James 17-U team for the past 12 seasons, racking up six AAU national championships, and helping more than 20 student-athletes receive NCAA Division I scholarships. Off the court, Ellison serves as the Mental Health Outpatient Supervisor of the Community Support Program for the Children's Home of Cincinnati. He is a motivational speaker, published author and adjunct professor at Lindsey Wilson College. He is an eight year Veteran of the United States Army.
Ellison received his Master's Degree in Education from Lindsey Wilson College in 2013, and is currently working on his PhD in Philosophy with a major in Counselor Education and Supervision." [Read More]