LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Years ago, former Louisville men's basketball standout Ellis Myles interviewed to be the head boys basketball coach at Fern Creek High School. But the Tigers didn't hire him.
"Maybe I wasn't ready then," Myles said. "Maybe I didn't interview right. And this time around, I think I'm mature enough."
The Tigers named Myles as their new head coach April 1. He replaced James Schooler, who left Fern Creek with three Sixth Region championships in nine seasons.
Myles is a former Cardinal who averaged 8.9 points and 8 rebounds per game over four seasons while starting in 110 of 124 career games. He went to the Final Four with Louisville in 2005 and later served as UofL's assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2007 to 2009.
"I was a passionate player when I played and I'm a passionate coach," Ellis said. "I was an undersized big man. I started my whole college career when I was told this JUCO player coming in was better than me or this All-American high school player. So even as a coach, I always feel I have something to prove."
The latest would be he can transition from the AAU level to high school. He's led the Louisville Magic AAU program since 2010.
"I think that's the biggest question that probably every parent is probably wondering: If Ellis can be that high school coach and not that AAU coach," said Myles. "Because on the AAU circuit, I have talent one through nine. And now in high school, I may not have talent one through nine. Now, it's about me teaching the game the right way and teaching these kids about life."
Where he thinks he's better prepared for that is being a father. Myles has a wife and four children. He said it's been fun being that family guy.
"And that's what I'm mainly proud of, because where I came from, I didn't expect to have a wife and four kids," said Miles. "I didn't expect to graduate from college. So that's what I'm most proud of."
He said that's some of the stuff he wants to instill in these kids because he's the "inner-city guy."
"And I understand that some of the kids that I'll have are coming from the inner city. That's where I'm up for that challenge to try to improve those kids," said Miles.