Scott Pospichal and Avery Johnson have history together.
When Pospichal was the head men’s basketball coach at Palm Beach Community College he was one of the few people who attended the Palm Beach Stingrays games in the now defunct United States Basketball League. Pospichal remembered seeing Johnson play, long before the latter’s career took off as a member of the San Antonio Spurs and coach with the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA.
Later, when Pospichal was the head coach of the Texas Titans AAU basketball team, the two were reunited when Johnson’s son, Avery Jr., played for the Titans.
That was in 2005. Fast forward to 2015 and Pospichal and Johnson are together again, this time coaching the same team.
Pospichal, 54, was hired in June to be Johnson’s assistant coach at the University of Alabama. For Pospichal, it’s a career come full circle, and he couldn’t be happier to be working with his friend.
“I walked into Avery’s office and I told him, ‘I just want to thank you so much,’?” Pospichal said. “I just love being here. My stress level is down. I’ve been on two plane trips that have been delayed and I didn’t feel any stress. I’m so excited to be here and working for coach Johnson.”
Johnson sounded just as excited to have Pospichal on his staff as well.
“Scott is a legendary AAU coach, and we are very excited for him to join our program at the University of Alabama,” Johnson told www.rolltide.com when Pospichal’s hiring was announced. “During his time with the Texas Titans, he has helped develop numerous players who went on to do great things at the college and professional levels. He is an excellent coach who specializes in the offensive part of the game and is a great communicator. We went through an extensive, vigorous hiring process to bring in the person who we felt would best help us in every aspect of our program, focusing on the areas of recruiting, coaching and player development There is no doubt in my mind that Scott fits this mold perfectly and will be a tremendous asset to our program.”
Pospichal, 54, has a long history in basketball, and it all started at Auburndale High School. Pospichal played for the Bloodhounds, and after graduating in 1979, he went on to play at Florida Southern, where he was a part of the 1981 NCAA Division II national championship team.
Pospichal was an assistant coach at North Carolina-Charlotte under former Mocs head coach Hal Wissel from 1983 to 1985 before returning to Auburndale as head coach for one year from 1985 to 1986.
During his one-year stint with Auburndale, Pospichal led the Bloodhounds to a 21-13 record and a runner-up finish in the FHSAA Class 3A state tournament. He then coached at Polk State College for a year before heading to Palm Beach Community College, where he was head coach for seven years.
The private business world took Pospichal away from coaching for nearly 11 years before he returned with the Texas Titans, where he’s still listed as head coach despite his new job with Alabama.
Pospichal’s brother Tim, the mayor of Auburndale, said the sport has always been in his younger brother’s veins.
“It was his original true love,” Tim Pospichal said. “He was a great player and he loved playing, but coaching is his life.”
Despite not living in Polk for many years, Pospichal has always found himself being drawn back.
His son, Jason Pospichal, played basketball at Warner University and graduated this year. His daughter was recruited by second-year Florida Southern head coach Betsy Harris.
Scott has kept up with Florida Southern basketball as well, including watching his son play against the Mocs in a 2014 exhibition and again watching the 2015 team give the school its second men’s basketball title.
“We came back and watched them the year before, and then we watched the national championship game on TV,” he said. “I couldn’t have been more excited. Normally you don’t want a team to do what you did, but we did (want them to win). Those kids worked so hard, (Linc) Darner did such a great job coaching them. FSC deserves to win championships. That place should always be an elite program.”