A Northern Kentucky basketball coach with four decades of experience is getting a second chance to lead a program of his own.
On Friday, Mike Listerman was named head coach of the Holmes High School boys basketball team. Listerman, who has been an assistant coach at the school in Covington for the past three seasons, has been in coaching for 40 years.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity to lead the Bulldogs," said Listerman, who is also a math teacher in the Covington Independent Schools district. “For many years they were my archrivals and now I have the great opportunity and privilege to lead this team."
The Fort Thomas native spent 27 years at Covington Catholic High School, where he served as an assistant and then head coach.
Listerman accumulated a 230–99 record from 2000-2011 while in charge of the program. That includes six district titles, two regional finals championships, two state tournament berths and a trip to the state semifinal.
He stepped down in 2011 for unspecified reasons.
Holmes and CovCath have a longstanding rivalry for city-wide bragging rights. That's not something that's lost on Listerman.
"The Holmes basketball program is steep in tradition, and I am much honored to be selected," said Listerman, who was making an allusion to the program's 2009 state title. That championship run is proudly celebrated on a mural in the school's gym.
Listerman replaces the man who led the Bulldogs to the crown, Jason Booher. Booher, a three-time state coach of the year in Kentucky, announced his retirement from coaching last week.
“Coach Listerman is an individual of high integrity, and a highly regarded basketball coach who has had enjoyed much success in his coaching career," said Holmes Principal Scott Hornblower.
Hornblower's new coach lists a professional pedigree that includes a stint on the staffs for the McDonald's All-American Game and the Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game.
In addition to his time coaching on the hardwood, Listerman founded the Bluegrass-Buckeye Charity Classic and served as a president of coaches association for two different regions in Northern Kentucky.
He attended Thomas More College and then earned his master's in education at Xavier University in Cincinnati.
“We also are fortunate to have a high quality coaching staff to assist Coach Listerman in leading the Holmes High School boys basketball team," Hornblower added.
The Kentucky High School basketball season begins in late November.