Like Father, Like Son
NEW MARTINSVILLE – Saturday, Feb. 13, was a good day to be Dave Tallman. Whether you were Dave Tallman Sr. or Dave Tallman Jr., you came out a winner at Ohio University Eastern.
The elder Tallman is head boys’ basketball coach at Magnolia High School. He is one of the best in the business. That is validated by the three state title rings he has earned guiding the Blue Eagles.
His son is a rising star in the profession. Dave Jr. is in his second year as head boys’ coach at Morgantown High.
Both father and son walked out of OUE Saturday with OVAC championship trophies. Morgantown downed University in 5A while Magnolia defeated Fort Frye in 3A.
The makes it two-for-two for young Dave as well as a repeat for dad. “Coming back to the Ohio Valley and winning the OVAC 5A championship is a great thrill,” young Dave remarked. “Having your family and friends in attendance makes it extra special. After our game, I was able to go out to lunch with dad before coming back to watch his game.
“When I watch Magnolia I try and see some things that I may be able to help my dad with. I will talk to him at halftime and try to give him some tips,” Dave Jr. noted. “He does a great job with handling the game and his players, but he is conducive to listening to my observations and suggestions. I wouldn’t be where I am out without him, so I try to offer support. We talk everyday. It is not always about basketball.”
This year’s 3A title took on added significance for the Blue Eagles. “We challenged our players going into the year to make school history. We have never won the OVAC in an even-numbered year, nor have we have ever repeated,” Dave Sr. said. “It was rough at times as we got a late start with our football success. It is a tribute to my players and my staff.”
The Magnolia hoop boss finds himself more at ease coaching his team than watching his son’s. “It gets very difficult at times to watch his games. I was at their game at Park and Morgantown was down 12. I had to get up and walk around. It was tough,” Dave Sr. said. “It gives me more appreciation for what my mom and dad had to go through.
“One of my roughest days was when he took a job in southern Maryland with Danny Sancomb. We hated to see him move away,” he continued. “I thank Coach (Bob) Huggins and Shaka Smart (now Texas head coach) for helping him land the Morgantown job. They were both references. It is a great job and he has a great relationship with WVU.”
With the hectic schedules that head coaches face in-season, the Tallmans embrace their time together.
“Mom and dad have been great. They have come to about half my games this year,” Dave Jr. said.
Saturday made things much easier for the entire family. “The day couldn’t have played out any better. Watching your son win a title and then having your own team make history is great,” Dave Sr. said. “Then being able to celebrate with the family makes it even sweeter. Between games my youngest son, Nathan, picked BW3’s to go eat and watch the WVU game. I thought that was a great choice since once we got there, I found out it was one of the OVAC Tournament sponsors.”
Kapral may be reached at email@example.com