Sean Weatherspoon returns home to become McKinley High School boys basketball coach

Mike Popovich
The Repository
New McKinley boys basketball head coach Sean Weatherspoon led Alliance to an Eastern Buckeye Conference championship this past season.
  • Sean Weatherspoon is leaving Alliance after one season to become the boys basketball coach at McKinley, his alma mater.
  • Weatherspoon led Alliance to a share of the Eastern Buckeye Conference championship this past season.
  • Weatherspoon played on McKinley's 2005 Division I state championship team.

A McKinley state champion is coming home.

Sean Weatherspoon was named Bulldogs boys basketball head coach on Monday. He returns to McKinley after spending last season as head coach at Alliance .

Weatherspoon won a state championship as a player with McKinley in 2005. He replaces Andy Vlajkovich, who resigned last month .

"It's definitely a surreal moment," Weatherspoon said. "Eighteen years ago, graduating from the institution and winning a state championship there, never in my wildest dreams would I think I would be the head coach at Canton McKinley. I'm definitely excited to get started, get to know these kids on and off the court and do some great things."

Weatherspoon was a four-year varsity player at McKinley. In addition to the 2005 state championship team, the two-time All-Ohioan played on two other state final four teams.

Sean Weatherspoon signals to his Alliance boys basketball team during a Division II district semifinal game against Youngstown Chaney last month.

Weatherspoon has 14 years of coaching experience. He was an assistant coach at McKinley from 2012-15 under Keith Noftz and Bryant Bowden.

“Sean Weatherspoon values the tradition and excellence that is McKinley High School and its basketball program," Canton City Schools Superintendent Jeff Talbert said in a statement. "I know he is looking forward to getting back inside the Field House and doing the work.”

Weatherspoon spent three seasons as Maple Heights head coach before coming to Alliance last year. He helped lead the Aviators to a share of the Eastern Buckeye Conference championship and was named Division II District 4 Coach of the Year.

As much as Weatherspoon looks forward to returning to McKinley, leaving Alliance was not easy.

"This was probably the hardest decision I had to make in my coaching career," he said. "The connections I made with (Alliance's) players and staff was great. The people I worked with at the school were great.

"I know with the right people in place, Alliance can continue with the success they had prior to me and also with me this year."

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