Former UD player Steve Pittman takes over at Bethel

Steve Pittman will bring his D-II Bethel Bees boys basketball team to Greenville on January 20th for a non-conference game vs the Green Wave.

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Former UD player Steve Pittman brings his Bethel Bees to Greenville for Saturday nigh Hall of Fame game. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

TIPP CITY – Steve Pittman, a well-known name in area boys’ basketball coaching circle, Beavercreek graduate, and the former University of Dayton Flyer takes on the Bethel Bees high school boys’ head basketball coaching job.

Pittman is a 1985 Beavercreek graduate was an All-State player, an Honorable Mention All-American, and a three-year starter for Don Donoher at Dayton.

“I Played for one of the greatest coaches ever – Larry Holden,” said Pittman. “We had some really good teams in high school. I ended up signing with the University of Dayton playing for Coach Donoher – my guy.”

“It’s tough as a freshman because you come in thinking you know everything and you find out you know nothing but as you mature it gets a lot easier,” Pittman said of playing at UD for Coach Donoher. “The way I couch now, I am firm but fair and that’s how Coach Donoher was.”

“The outstanding thing about playing at UD is being able to play there,” Pittman added. “There is nothing like playing in front of 13,000-14,000 people every night, a phenomenal thing and it’s just an incredible place to play. When I go back it has a feeling of nostalgia, it’s an unbelievable atmosphere.”

Steve Pittman, former UD player and good friend and longtime girls basketball coach, John Coffee share a moment at Bethel High School. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Pittman brings 34 years of coaching experience to the Bethel Bees program that finished 7-16 and 4-10 in the Three Rivers Conference this past season. The Bees return guard Mike Halleg with a 15-point sophomore season average. The Bethel enrollment has grown and moved the Bees into D-II putting the team in a very competitive area come tournament time. Bethel lost a first-round tournament game in the 2022-2023 season 95-40 to Ponitz.

Coach Pittman looks to bring stability to a program that has in recent years experienced a coaching carousel.

“We have some really good young players, a couple of really good seniors so we have a healthy mix but I am the third head coach here in the last three years and the fourth in the last five years,” Coach Pittman said of building a program, “so just trying to get the consistency together has been a challenge but it’s been one of those challenges that rewarding.”

“Kids need structure,” Pittman stated. “It’s kind of hard when you’re a junior and I’m the third coach you’ve had. That’s a tough sell so I have to find a way to trust the kids and the kids have to find a way to trust me.”

The Bethel Bees boys varsity basketball team opens regular season play, Saturday, December 2nd vs Oyler at Indian Hills High School and will travel to Greenville on Saturday, January 20th to take on the Green Wave with a 7:30 p.m. start time.

“As we get closer it gets more and more exciting,” Pittman said of the new season. “I can’t wait until Saturday. Get out and support the Bees – we need all the support we can get.”