St. Ignatius hires Cameron Joyce to lead hoops, first African-American head coach in school history

St. Ignatius hires Cameron Joyce to lead hoops, first African-American head coach in school history

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cameron Joyce will be leading the Saint Ignatius Wildcats on the basketball court this season.

It’s a historic moment as he is now the first African-American head coach in school history.

Saying the words aloud was still a shock to Joyce, “That’s probably the biggest thing for me - It almost brought me to tears honestly, just to think that God put me in the position to be that person," Joyce said.

The 30-year-old spent the last day of school, familiarizing himself with the returning players; his phone constantly buzzing from texts from friends and family.

A lot of people reached out to Joyce to congratulate him on his new position; shortly before the interview he received this tweet from LeBron James.

“It’s bigger than basketball,” Joyce said smiling.

According to school officials, Joyce is the 24th head coach in the 104-year history of St. Ignatius basketball.

He wants to bring a championship mentality back to the court, a feeling the team hasn’t felt since their title win in 2001.

“He has a strong faith life. Everybody we talked to about him spoke about how he’s a man of character and how well he is able to connect with the kids he’s coached.”
Mike McLaughlin ’85, head soccer coach and member of the hiring committee.

Joyce most recently spent time as the Director of Operations at Ohio University.

Before then he spent two years as the assistant video coordinator at the University of Florida.

Joyce went to St. Vincent-St. Mary and played point guard at Northwood University until he graduated in 2013.

This is his first coaching gig, but he should be fine, you know - that’s the coach’s son.

Runs in the family

The Joyce name rings bells across Northeast Ohio; the new coach plans on picking up where his father, Dru Joyce II left off.

LeBron James, third from left, hangs out with, from left, Randy Mims, New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul, and his high former high school head basketball coach Dru Joyce II, in the cafeteria of his old high school, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, after promoting the film "More Than A Game" in Akron, Ohio on Friday, Aug. 21, 2009. The film documents the true life story of NBA star LeBron James and his Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School basketball teammates. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
LeBron James, third from left, hangs out with, from left, Randy Mims, New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul, and his high former high school head basketball coach Dru Joyce II, in the cafeteria of his old high school, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, after promoting the film "More Than A Game" in Akron, Ohio on Friday, Aug. 21, 2009. The film documents the true life story of NBA star LeBron James and his Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School basketball teammates. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta) (Source: Amy Sancetta)

Joyce II has been a staple at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School for 20 years, leading the team to eight state titles.

The coolest part tidbit about this upcoming year is that the father-and son will coach against each other during the season.

The Wildcats will travel to Joyce’s Alma-mater in a game on Dec. 31.

Joyce wants to help change lives, an is more eager than anything else.

As far as a warning shot for local teams he had this to say:

“We’re here and we mean business.”

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