Pittman named coach of the year

Published 11:47 am Sunday, March 29, 2009

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
ROANOKE — Whether it’s on the court or off it flexibility is the key to Darryl Pittman’s success at Roanoke High School.
During games, Pittman’s players rotate from position to position like a well-oiled machine with interchangeable parts.
At practices, the Redskins’ skipper knows exactly when to push his players buttons and when to back off. A line the sixth-year coach tight-ropes daily.
In every sense of the word Pittman’s flexibility has allowed Roanoke to flex its muscles on a yearly basis. It has also earned him his second Washington Daily News Boys Basketball Coach of the Year honor in the past three seasons.
Pittman’s versatile system can be a challenge for players to learn, but it works because the athletes have bought into what he is selling.
Flexibility is having a relationship where courtesy is a two-way street, which is something that has helped Pittman forge a bond with his players.
Respect is a hard thing to earn, but it comes a little faster when you have won three straight Atlantic Conference titles as Pittman has done.
Pittman’s close relationship with his students is something that extends past graduation.
The Roanoke coach said that without a doubt, winning has helped the players and fans jump aboard the ship a lot quicker.
Pittman’s team’s challenge every season because the coach doesn’t enforce his style on his team. His basic philosophy of playing up-tempo and using all his players at all positions stays the same, but he tweaks it just a bit every season.
What Pittman usually gets, or better put molds, is a team that is very court-savvy and dangerous. In the past three seasons the Redskins have made it to the third round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs twice, and the second round once.
This year, as well as the 2006-07, Roanoke’s playoff run was extinguished by a tough Camden team, while last season a very talented Plymouth squad ended their playoff push.
Pittman said the goal, like every season is to get to ECU and bring a title back to Roanoke.