Denison hires former Highland Park coach to lead basketball program

One of North Texas’ most respected veteran basketball coaches, Jody Bass, has signed on as Head Coach of the Denison High School Boys Basketball program.
Cody White, DISD’s Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for 2009-10, touts Bass as “an outstanding person and one of the state’s best basketball coaches.” Bass comes to Denison after nine years as head basketball coach at Marcus High School in Flower Mound. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Athletic Director and Head Boys Basketball Coach at Highland Park High School from 1984 to 2001.
“We’re extremely excited to have Jody in our Denison program,” said White. “He’s just a stellar person, good man and great coach who brings invaluable experience not only to coaching boys basketball, but also in his ability to influence the lives of our young people in a very positive and productive way.”
Bass has accumulated an impressive 399 career wins during his 20 years as a head coach. That number increases significantly when you consider his many wins during 15 additional years in various coaching positions. His overall record at Marcus was 159-98 and included advancements to Area playoffs in the 2002-03 season, Bi-District in 2005-06, Regional Semi-Finals in 2006-07, and Bi-District again in 2008-09.
“One statistic that really stands out for me is that Jody nearly doubled his number of players in off-season in the fall,” said White. “This says a lot about the quality of his program as well as his ability to motivate and inspire kids to participate, to work hard and do their best.”
Bass’s Varsity Boys basketball record of 170-62 at Highland Park is equally impressive. He served as Assistant Coach for ten years before being named Head Coach in 1994. His Highland Park team played in the State Finals in 1997-98, Regional Finals in 1996-97, and Regional Semi-Finals in 1994-95, 1995-96 and 2000-01. During his years at Highland Park, Bass also taught BCIS, Accounting, Business Math and P.E. From 1993 to 2001, he coached the Texas Flash Girls AAU Basketball Team, a nationally renowned team that has amassed a 70% win record since 1994, including the Southwestern Regional Championship in 1998.
Why has he chosen to bring his exceptional talents to Denison? “Cody White is at the very top of my list of reasons,” said Bass. “I respect him totally and can’t think of anyone I would rather work with. He has told me great things about the school district here, the community…and of course the sports and basketball program. I am truly looking forward to this opportunity.”
White and Bass worked together for three years at Highland Park, and both share a lot of the same goals and values as coaches. Bass says he believes in the philosophy of one of basketball’s greatest coaches ever, long-time UCLA coach John Wooden, who believed that always doing one’s best is what really counts.
“I really do think that’s the key,” said Bass. “Getting kids and players to understand that if they’ve done their best, the wins and losses will take care of themselves. It’s giving your best effort and trying your hardest that really count in the long run.”
Coach Bass also believes in instilling in kids a strong work ethic, something he says will serve them well throughout life. “I expect kids to be on time, be responsible, make good choices, show respect for themselves and others, and to be good sports both in victory and defeat,” said Bass. “We want them to be good kids as well as good athletes. My goal as a coach has always been to help kids become ladies and gentlemen who will ultimately make a positive contribution to society.”
“In the big picture, we want our kids to take something from our program that they can use later on in their lives,” added Bass. “I’ve coached for 35 years, and this has always been my basic philosophy. It always will be.”

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