Brian McCauley was a part of a lot of basketball success at Kokomo High School, first as a standout player and later as the 23rd head coach in the Wildkats' long and rich history.
Now, McCauley, 36, is setting aside his Red and Blue in favor of Black and Gold.
Noblesville on Tuesday announced McCauley as its new boys basketball coach. He replaces Dave McCollough, who compiled a 308-138 won-lost record in 20 seasons with the Millers.
"It's very difficult for me to leave Kokomo — extremely difficult," he said. "I grew up wanting to be a Kokomo Wildkat. I played for Kokomo [varsity] for three years, I've coached there for eight. I have given Kokomo everything I have.
"You make these decisions after a lot of thought. It came down to it's an opportunity that I felt that I needed to give a try," he added. "No one knows the future. That's what life is all about. I always ask our guys to give me their best effort and have the right attitude and they did that. Now with this opportunity, I'll give my best effort. That's all I can do."
McCauley steps into a difficult position in some ways. McCollough was let go in April in a controversial decision. He was suspended for two games in January over an incident in practice in which he threw a ball in frustration during a drill and it hit a player. He apologized, served his suspension and the Millers went on to finish with a 14-7 record, their 19th consecutive season at .500 or better. The decision to let him go stunned many in the community.
In addition, Noblesville plays in arguably the toughest sectional in the state. Class 4A Sectional 8 also has Carmel, which won the 2012 and '13 Class 4A state titles; Hamilton Southeastern, which had the 2012 and '13 Mr. Basketball winners; and North Central, which is a two-time state champion. Fishers, Westfield and Zionsville round out the field.