Homecoming for Huseman: Kolby takes over father’s former program with move to Kingwood
HOUSTON – As Kolby Huseman looked at old photos of his father Royce’s old basketball coach’s office nestled next to the gym in Kingwood High School it brought back a flood of memories.
Kolby was around four years old when Royce took over the Kingwood basketball program, which he coached until 2017 and won a state championship with in 2005 in Kolby’s senior season.
Now, Kolby with a family of his own in Kingwood, including four-year-old son Levi, it will be Levi’s turn to walk into his father’s coach’s office inside Kingwood High School right next to the Royce Huseman Court starting next season.
“I want to be able to give my kids and my family that same experience,” Kolby, who was formally announced as Kingwood’s new head basketball coach last week, said. “I really treasured it. I know that it is something special that not every kid gets to have.
“I live in Kingwood, and I grew up in that gym and that office. So, being at Kingwood is a big deal to me. It was the one job I could never pass up.”
Kolby was previously at Klein Oak as the Panthers’ head coach before recently accepting the Kingwood job.
It is a job that the Huseman family has been tied to since the early 1980s.
Kolby’s uncle Jack Aldridge coached the Mustangs from 1981 until Royce took over in 1990 and stayed until retiring in 2017. Now, Kolby will start his Kingwood coaching career in the fall of 2022.
“We’ve always thought about this,” Royce said. “When Kolby got into the coaching business in college, we had always talked about coming back to Kingwood and taking over.
“My heart has always been with Kingwood, I still have all my Kingwood blue t-shirts, so I’ll get to break them back out again. It’s a blessing for our whole family.”
Kolby (Left), Royce (Middle) and Colin (Right) Huseman celebrate after winning the 2005 State Championship.
The first time the Kingwood job came open a few years ago, Kolby did apply but it just didn’t work out that time around.
Going through the process this time around and getting the job brought a sense of relief to Kolby. The next feeling that came over him was pride.
“What I’m most excited about is being able to work with the kids that grow up in the community you are in,” Kolby said. “You just have a different connection to those kids. When I work basketball camps or even coach my four-year-old soccer team, you have a special connection to those kids because you know you are going to see them progress through life and grow up.”
Even with his coaching career taking him to different spots around the Houston area the past few years, during the summer Kolby would still come help with his dad’s basketball camp.
Coaching is a family business. It is what the Huseman’s do.
Royce did it for more than 30 years, now Kolby is in his second stop as a head coach back at his alma mater, while younger brother Colin was most recently on his staff at Klein Oak.
But taking over a program that his father built into national prominence in the mid-2000s and coaching a court that done his name, Kolby said doesn’t come with any pressure but rather he approaches the job with what Royce has taught him over the years.
“I admire my dad and have learned a lot from him every time he coaches,” he said. “I feel like I’m always gaining a ton of knowledge. I never strived to be him; I’d love to be able to emulate some of his accomplishments, but I don’t feel any pressure to do anything exactly like him.
“But to coach the kids as hard as he did and make sure I coach every kid to the fullest of my ability and make sure I give a lot of energy and time to the younger kids in the community.”
With Kolby taking over the Kingwood program, Royce admitted you may see him up at the gym at times. At Klein Oak, Kolby had Royce coach his fall league team, which high school coaches aren’t allowed to coach, and it could be the same setup now at Kingwood.
“I’m ready to get back in and help with whatever I can,” Royce said. “I did coach his summer teams at Klein Oak, so I’m ready to start doing the same types of things I did there here at Kingwood.”
Kingwood last made the playoffs in the 2019-2020 season, and just missed the postseason this year finishing fifth at 6-6 in District 21-6A play.
Getting the Mustangs back into the playoff picture is obviously on the list of goals, but Kolby has a couple before that that in the end will help Kingwood get back on top.
“My first goal is to figure out what we do really well and make sure we continue to build on that,” he said. “My first goal above all else is to make the kids and parents feel welcomed and make sure everybody is involved and excited about the program. The biggest thing that I want from the program is that the kids feel like they have a home and be a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Sitting in the stands next season and watching Kolby coach his alma mater will be special, Royce said for him and the entire Huseman family. There will be nerves watching him coach but also excitement.
Having his entire family in the stands as he coaches Kingwood makes this exactly what it is – a homecoming.
“That is exactly how I would describe it,” Kolby said. “I would describe it as coming home.”