A coaching connection spanning generations

Many athletes have had the experience, at one time or another, of being coached by their parent. But, these coaches are continuing that profession within their families, forming a strong bond across generations.
Both Coach Guiler and Coach Brewer took their fathers coaching experience to heart, as they now share a bench as key parts of the Lions basketball coaching staff.
Both Coach Guiler and Coach Brewer took their father’s coaching experience to heart, as they now share a bench as key parts of the Lions basketball coaching staff.

A lot goes in to building a full basketball court in one’s backyard.

The concrete, the materials and the space used. The amount of time it takes.

But Scott Guiler didn’t care about that. He wanted his house to be the house people came to, to play and enjoy the game of basketball. He wanted his son, Greg, to be able to engage with the game they both loved. 

“We had people over there all the time,” Guiler said. “He put lights up out there, so my friends would come over at night and we’d have the lights on. He was always inviting people to be to come play.”

Scott wanted people to be able to share the game of basketball – which he did within his own family, serving as his son’s basketball coach in some capacity for over ten years.

The role of a good coach, for at least a time, is not unlike the role of a good father.

And, when mixing those two relationships, those two fountains of mentorship, a unique link is formed. For head basketball coach Coach Greg Guiler, his father and his coach, Scott Guiler were one and the same for over half of his time in the game of basketball.

“In the earliest memories I have of playing any kind of organized basketball, he was always there on the sidelines,” Coach Guiler said. 

When Coach Guiler was just 3 or 4 years old, his father built him a small 6-foot hoop for their basement in Ohio. And, ever since then, their connection through the game of basketball has only grown.

“All winter long I could go down to play one-on-one, or just dribble all over the place,” Coach Guiler said. “I’d be down there shooting hoops on the basement basket.”

And, as Coach Guiler grew, so did his love for the game, which his father was more than happy to accommodate. 

“By the time he was 5 or 6, I started a little travel team,” Scott Guiler said. “I started recruiting kids from our school and beyond, and we got pretty serious about it. By the time he was in the fourth grade, he was playing 80 games a year. And I loved every minute of it, and we continued with that.”

This AAU-level team wasn’t Scott Guiler’s first foray into the coaching profession, however. As a senior at Ohio State University, he was a grad assistant coach at an inner-city school in downtown Columbus. His intention was to go into coaching and teaching after graduation, so this seemed like a logical step in that direction.

But, this high school squad was special. This was the 1967-69 Columbus East High School basketball team, which won back to back championships in those two seasons.

A large part of Scott Guiler’s initial interest in coaching came through his faith. The Guilers’ faith and commitment to education is a recurring theme throughout their careers; Scott Guiler’s father was an agriculture teacher at Ohio State. 

“I loved working with young men, and I actually used it as a platform to share Jesus Christ with some of them,” Scott Guiler said. “(We have a) strong faith in Jesus Christ in our family, so I liked that opportunity as well.”

After his graduation, Scott Guiler was hired to be junior varsity basketball coach there, serving in that position for two years before taking up real estate and eventually starting his masonry business, which he ran for 45 years.

But, Scott Guiler couldn’t stay away from the game he loved forever. He would continue picking up coaching gigs and finding opportunities throughout and even after his masonry success.

“I was playing ball myself,” he said. “Six, seven nights a week – I was kind of almost enjoying that more than coaching when I was 21.”

So, when Coach Guiler came along, it was only natural that they bonded over that game – for more than a decade. And, when Coach Guiler was entering the 10th grade, an opportunity appeared for Scott Guiler to continue that bonding and tradition of being Coach Guiler’s coach.

“He was hired as a varsity coach at a high school near where we lived in the summer that I was going into my high school career, because he thought, ‘Hey, this would be an opportunity for me to coach my son’,” Coach Guiler said, “And I wanted that. I went and did summer league stuff with that team.”

But, as the upcoming school year and season approached, Scott Guiler made the tough decision of taking a step back. For the first time in his basketball career, Scott Guiler wouldn’t be there to coach Coach Guiler along the way.

“Midway through the summer, he just said ‘You know, I think it might be better for you to have a different voice,’” Coach Guiler said. “And so he went to the school, and they had somebody else step in as the varsity coach.”

So, Coach Guiler moved back to his local high school, down the street, where his dad had graduated from. He played basketball all four years, and helped bring a middle-of-the-road program all the way to the Ohio state championship final four – where his team ultimately fell to a young LeBron James at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School out of Akron.

“I give my dad a ton of credit, because he could have been the coach and been a little more selfish,” Coach Guiler said. “But for him to say ‘No, I think you’re going to benefit more from playing from somebody else,’ was a really mature and selfless decision. It was all about me and he just loved me and felt like that was what was best in the moment.”

Coach Guiler’s connection with the game of basketball wasn’t quite finished, though. After graduating high school, he attended Cedarville University, where he was a standout point guard and still holds the record for consecutive games played at 123, a testament to his work ethic on the court.

But, when he graduated with a B.A. from Cedarville, where he was also a student minister, he turned away from basketball and into his faith. Coach Guiler’s next step in education was to attend the Dallas Theological Seminary, where he earned a degree in cross-cultural studies.

“I was thinking some sort of full time ministry – that’s what brought me that to Dallas,” Coach Guiler said. “I was thinking maybe I’d follow in the footsteps of some of the most famous missionaries – I thought that that was the best way to serve God.”

But, it was ultimately Coach Guiler’s dad, Scott Guiler, who helped guide Coach Guiler’s current career of choice. In many ways, it was a perfect harmony between the two biggest influences – basketball and faith – in Coach Guiler’s life.

“My dad has been among those who’ve been so faithful to show me that getting to be around young men in formative ways with something as simple as the game of basketball is just as impactful as ministry endeavors in some sort of church setting,” Coach Guiler said.

Guiler joined the staff at St. Mark’s shortly after his time at Cedarville and took the reigns of the varsity basketball team in 2006. Since that time, he’s won the most games of any Lions varsity basketball coach and has led the program to some of its most impressive heights.

And, he’s even been able to reconnect with his father, who has helped out with teams here after retirement.

“I sold my business in 2012, and Greg said, ‘Hey dad, why don’t you come down and help me coach’,” Scott Guiler said. “So I coached the JV team there at St. Mark’s for three years and then sat on the bench for the varsity.”

And now, Scott Guiler works with the team still, keeping crucial in-game stats that keep the coaching staff and players aware of necessary adjustments during a game.

The story of the Guiler men is one of dedication to faith and family. Their connection through the game of basketball and their commitment to guiding a new generation of young men is unwavering and unbreakable.

The elder Guiler sees his time developing, cultivating, and ultimately working alongside his son as a wholesome and fulfilling experience.

“It’s been wonderful because it’s been a brotherhood, really, between us, kept us close all these years with a common interest in working together,” Scott Guiler said.

Meanwhile, his son partially credits his father’s work in leading him to a profession that he loves.

“When you see your dad loves the game of basketball, it’s natural for you to want to want to follow his footsteps from a basketball standpoint,” Guiler said. “I didn’t anticipate it being my career, but I’m sure grateful it has been. I’ve loved every second, and I don’t feel like I’ve worked a day in my life.”

Grady Brewer was a winner.

He started his coaching career in Atlanta at Booker T. Washington High School where he helped lead them to the state championship. Following his success he became the Morehouse head basketball coach and turned them into one of the top Division II programs in the country. 

During that time he led Morehouse to seven 20-win seasons, seven SIAC regular season championships, an SIAC tournament championship and three NCAA tournament appearances. Sadly, Grady Brewer passed away in 2021, but his legacy lives on. 

A large part of that legacy is ingrained in his son, JV basketball coach Ryan Brewer. 

“I spent a lot of time in college talking to my dad during the season,” Coach Brewer said. “ I wasn’t an official coach, but I went to many games and my dad and I would talk about them.” 

When Coach Brewer began to coach, Grady Brewer was a constant source of information for him to lean on. 

“When we would watch games, it wasn’t just to watch,” Coach Brewer said. “We were constantly analyzing them. I learned from him to pull stuff to what specific teams may do or how you can use players that you have to run a particular system, but once I got into coaching, he gave me a lot of what to do and helped me get started.” 

Coach Brewer’s coaching career did not begin on the big stage; in fact, it was quite the opposite. His coaching journey started at the YMCA with the fifth grade and under team. With a determined mindset, Coach Brewer took this team to the YMCA nationals, where they managed to come home with the first place trophy. 

Following this success, Coach Brewer moved up the chain to the Bowl School in Jacksonville, where he became an assistant JV Basketball coach. There, he quickly proved his talents and ultimately became the head JV coach and top assistant for varsity. 

Shortly after, Coach Brewer brought his experience to the school, where he has continued to coach in the same positions. 

In his positions, Coach Brewer continues to implement his dad’s coaching methods to lead effective practices. 

“One of my dad’s philosophies was the importance of technique and intensity,” Coach Brewer said. “Technique for doing something. Being in the right position to set a screen or coming off of the screen correctly. That’s the technique, but then also intensity. How hard are you doing something? You should practice at 110 percent because the practice should be harder than the games and practice is where you earn your minutes.”

While Coach Brewer learned and implemented many philosophies from his father, he also developed his own life lessons through personal experience. 

“The biggest thing I’ve learned from coaching is more than just being patient,” Coach Brewer said. “You can’t win everything—some things you have to lose. Losing is where you figure out how to get better. If you are constantly winning all the time you’re not going to figure out where your weaknesses are. When those losses come, that’s when you figure out where you are.”

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