Checking in with Hopkinsville High School boys’ basketball coach Tim Haworth before his town becomes the state’s tourism epicenter.
Is everyone down there pretty excited for the eclipse? Hopkinsville is about to host tourists from all over the country.
“There’s a lot of excitement. I forget what the official number is, but I think they are saying there might be up to 100,000 people in town for it. They are looking at it like they might look at a catastrophic event like an ice storm to kind of help people prepare for what is coming.”
What makes Hopkinsville a unique town to be a high school basketball coach in?
“It’s got a lot of diversity. That’s one thing I love about it. I’ve got two kids and another on the way and my wife and I have been here for the last ten years. We want to raise our kids in a place that is very diverse. It makes Hopkinsville unique, as far as western Kentucky goes.”
One word to describe the town to someone who has never been?
Favorite lunch spot in Hopkinsville that visitors should check out?
“Bambinos Pizza, man! I get cheese pizza, light on the sauce.”
Where are you watching the eclipse?
“I will either be at a buddy’s house or watch it from my front yard. I live about 30 seconds from the school, so probably my front yard.”
What are some crazy preparations you have seen or heard of people making in Hopkinsville?
“There are all sorts of people preparing in different ways. I know they are selling parking spots here at the school for something like $30. There are lots of ways people are trying to make money for the community.”
If you had to ballpark it, what percentage of your team do you think will watch the eclipse?
“Knowing my guys, maybe half of ‘em (laughs)… I’m kidding, I hope they all watch it, but probably something like 80 percent.”
What did summer look like for you as a high schooler?
“Basketball was kind of my life. I would work at it all the time. I would go to the high school gym to get up 500 shots and then go to the park to play in the evening, every day. I’d do some landscaping stuff for a lawyer in town, but basketball was kind of my life.”
You served as an assistant under Mick Cronin at Murray State. What were the most valuable things you learned from him?
“Work ethic, paying attention to detail, how to treat everyone, and holding everyone accountable. You want to win, but you want to try to learn all the different personalities and get everyone on the same page, and he is really good at that.”
You recently hired former Grayson County Head Coach Kelly Carwile as an assistant. He is the third former head on your staff, along with Larry Miller and Chris Sullivan. What does having three former head coaches on staff do for your program?
“We’ve got four head coaches on staff and it is going to be the best coaching staff that I’ve ever had. It’s just going to make practices even better, us putting our heads together and trying to figure out how we are going to be really good.”
What do you eat before games?
“I’ve actually lost 105 pounds. Before that, I would usually eat McDonald’s, but now I like drinking some water and maybe eating some fruit or grilled chicken.”
How do you celebrate big wins?
“I hang out with my family and the coaches also like to sometimes go out after the game to Buffalo Wild Wings. We will just sit there, chill, and have a good time. I talk to our guys and our coaches all the time about really enjoying wins because not everyone has the opportunity to do that.”
What do you wear for games?
“Well, I used to wear suits, but then I lost all of the weight so none of my suits fit. Last year I started wearing polos and the whole staff wore them and we loved them, so we decided to stick with them. We wear our Nike polos and khakis. I just like the way we look when everyone is dressed the same, as opposed to if we all had on different suits. It’s also more comfortable.”
Being from a small town, what do you always make sure to do or eat when you are in the “big cities,” Lexington, Louisville, Nashville, etc.?
“I like to get out there and try something different. Being in a small town we don’t eat the same thing all the time, but you definitely develop a little rotation. I always try to do something different when we are out of town. One of my favorite spots in Lexington is the Chop House.”
Funniest kid you ever coached at Hopkinsville?
“Demarius Cager. That kid was a trip every day to be around.”
“Tre Edwards, 43-inch vertical.”
“Either Demarius Henry or Brandon Govan.”
If you weren’t a teacher or a coach you would be…
What habit of yours bothers your wife the most?
“I’m almost perfect, but probably my phone. I’m on the phone too much.”
How would you rate yourself as a dancer, ten being the highest and one being the lowest?
“One or two.”
What’s your specialty cooking dish?
“I haven’t done this in a while, but I definitely need to more often now that you bring it up: pizza burgers. I put marinara sauce on the buns.”
What coach fascinates you from a psychologist/motivator standpoint?
“Two, John Calipari and Bruce Pearl.”
What coach fascinates you from an X’s and O’s standpoint?
“Greg Marshall, Wichita State.”
A KHSAA gym you have always wanted to play an away game in but never have?
Favorite gym you have played in besides your own?
Craziest fans you have played against?
A KHSAA team you have always wanted to play but never have?
The name of your newborn coming in December?
What did you eat for breakfast today?
“I skipped breakfast to run seven miles this morning (laughs), then I had Bambinos Pizza for lunch.”