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How Hard Work and Patience Paid Off For A High School Basketball Coach

When Ramone McBrayer talked to the Toledo Blade about his Rogers Rams varsity boy’s basketball team before the 2023-24 season started, he made a prediction.

“I told them we are going to start slow and finish strong,” McBrayer said.

The inexperienced Rams did start slow, losing some close games earlier in the season. But McBrayer’s team is 8-2 in its last ten games and will play for a City League Championship against Lima Senior on February 15.

McBrayer developed his ability to forecast how his team would improve throughout the season, over twenty years, to be exact.

However, McBrayer could not have predicted his love for basketball would lead him into coaching back then because he had other plans after graduating from Scott High School in 2004.

“I missed an opportunity to play in college,” McBrayer said. “And I started to lose my love for the game.”

That’s until his cousin Antuan Johnson talked the kid, fresh out of high school, into coaching. Johnson and McBrayer led the DeVeaux junior high basketball program to six championships before both joined former Rams coach Earl Morris at Rogers.

During his three years as an assistant at Rogers, McBrayer helped the program make a state final four appearance in 2011 and a state championship game appearance in 2013.

Following his successful run at Rogers, McBrayer served as the associate head coach and junior varsity head coach at St. Francis de Sales under former head coach Travis Lewis for six years.

McBrayer believes working alongside Lewis at St. Francis elevated his coaching ability by providing structure, watching film, and attending coaching clinics.

“It caused me to dig deeper,” McBrayer said. “It was a great experience, and I learned a lot.”

The experience prepared McBrayer for his first varsity head coaching job at Maumee Valley Country Day in 2019. McBrayer spent two years at MV before returning to Rogers as the head boys varsity coach.

“It was wonderful to go from public to Catholic to private and see how different things are at each place,” McBrayer said. It was a perfect situation at MV and a chance to implement my system. It was tough to leave MV, but I had to separate my emotions and make the best decision for me.”

McBrayer says it feels good to win at Rogers, but he knows how much it took to get the program back to this point again. He dealt with trying to coach after COVID. He learned to adapt and adjust his style and faced humbling situations.

“I had to get back to why all the kids love being around me and playing for Coach Mone,” McBrayer said. I didn’t know how to delegate things. I had to reevaluate myself to get things back in line.”

McBrayer has not only got things back in line, but he also has a team that is bought in and believes in each other. McBrayer also has a seven-year-old son, Ramone McBrayer Jr., known as Little, who is like another coach but, more importantly, an inspiration to his father.

“My son is a big part of me,” the eldest McBrayer said. He stays on top of me. His IQ blows me away. He’s at games taking notes and telling me what defense teams are in.”

After 20 years in the game, McBrayer has left his mark as a coach in high school and on the AAU circuit. And throughout it all, he has never stopped trusting the process.

“I know many people use that term,” McBrayer said. “But I had to trust the process. I had to grind from coaching seventh grade to getting my first head coaching job. I’m thankful that some great people helped me along the way.”


Jason A. Dixon has developed into one of the top youth motivational speakers and leading voices for middle school, high school, and college students by combining a mission-driven passion and a powerful message. A former sportswriter, Coach Jason left behind his journalism career in 2007 and embarked on a path that would allow him to impact young people more significantly. After serving as a high school and college basketball coach, behavioral health specialist, and educator, Coach Jason started Inspire 2 Reach Higher, a youth motivational speaking company, in 2013. His informational, insightful, and inspiring content has been shaped by his journalism experience and years of writing the untold stories of students and the adults who care about them.
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