Brent Wood Returns to Lewis County Basketball Scene as Ony Hoops Coach


One of the better 3-point shooters in Lewis County is returning to the hardwood, and not long after his career at Toledo wrapped up in 2015. 

After seven years away, working on a nursing degree at Eastern Washington University and then Washington State University of Spokane, Brent Wood is trading in his red and black Toledo attire for purple and gold this upcoming winter, taking the reins of the Onalaska boys basketball program. 

For Wood, it was simply a matter of when — not if — he would return to his old stomping grounds as a hoops coach. 

“I want to give back to all those that have given to me in this county,” Wood said. "Lewis County has been very generous to me. I had to take the job.”

While wrapping up his degree on the east side of Washington, Wood started to get some calls and interest from back home, asking if he’d be interested in a couple of jobs. 

Grady Fallon, Toledo’s long-time coach and former coach of Wood, has been asking the 2015 alum for years when he was going to come back and coach under him. 

Several jobs opened up in Southwest Washington, including down in Castle Rock. But with Wood heading home, he wouldn’t settle for anywhere outside of Lewis County. When the Ony job opened up, it was a no-brainer. 

“The Onalaska parents were in my ear, my dad mentioned something as well,” Wood said. “I didn’t even apply to some of those other jobs that were available because I knew the culture and parent support I was going to get over here.”

Though Wood graduated from Toledo, his father went to Onalaska, and a lot of his family are in town. It’s a place he’s always had a connection with. 

“I’ve gotten so much parental support, and the kids are hard workers,” he said. “A bunch of farm kids who are tough guys, my theory is if you can play tough, you can be successful. There’s a way you can find success if you play hard. That’s all I’ve seen so far at Ony is the hard work. I don’t really have any doubt in my mind that they’ll get back to having a culture of excellence and find that consistency they had before. It’s the Logger tradition.”

A sharpshooter and Toledo’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made, Wood has a winning pedigree. He started on a state championship squad as a sophomore point guard, and since day one has been as cerebral and level-headed as they come, per his former coach. 

“He’s a basketball guy,” Fallon said. “His demeanor, he never gets really excited or frustrated. He played hard and made no excuses. He left his mark on Toledo. He’s a great kid.” 

Fallon laments that of all places, though, Wood found his way back to the Central 2B League, where the former coach and player will now fight for positioning in an extremely competitive league. 

After Wood’s job acceptance was made public, several former Toledo players gave him a call to congratulate him, and tell him they’d have to root against him any time he played against his alma mater.

“I’m excited for him,” Fallon said. “We’ve been doing these summer league games and I look across and see my guys. I wish them the best. It would be a lot easier to root for them if they didn’t play in our league, but I’ll root for them whenever we don’t play them.”

Ultimately, it was a job Wood couldn’t turn down. He’d been coaching on the side while finishing up his degree, helping out a Reardan squad last season as a coach, before the move this year. 

While he didn’t give everything away, Wood did say he — like many others in Southwest Washington — will follow in a long line of coaches to develop schemes from long-time Mark Morris coach Bill Bakamus and former Toledo head man Scott Merzoian. 

“It's that coaching tree, I like what they do,” Wood said. “That's the type of culture and system that I want to bring. Everyone knows who Bill Bakamus is, and Scott Merzoian. If that gives it away too much, so be it.”

Wood will bring his championship pedigree and deep knowledge of basketball inside and out of Lewis County and the C2BL this fall, where the Loggers have tentatively scheduled their first game of the season against Raymond on the road November 29.