Billy McCall, Jr., has been around the game of basketball for a long time.
He has officiated for 10 years at the collegiate ranks and 15 years for high school sports. He has officiated five FHSAA state championship games, three SIAA Conference Championship games and even an NBA D-League game.
He currently serves as Vice President of Officials in the FHSAA and Supervisor of Officials in the SIAA Conference.
However, for the first time in his career, McCall will be a head coach at the varsity level after Bronson High School officially introduced him as their new leader of the boys basketball program.
“It feels great,” he said. “I’m both humbled and excited in taking on this new role within the community of Bronson.”
McCall brings a wealth of knowledge to the game of basketball, both as an official and as a coach. He also has some history and unfinished business with the Eagles.
“I began coaching Bronson’s student athletes in middle school back in 2016,” McCall said. “Starting out, under my wing as sixth and seventh graders, it only felt right to come back and coach them as juniors and seniors in high school.”
McCall said the rapport that he has built with his guys over the years is “priceless.”
“They are all more like sons to me rather than my players,” he said. “I love them like they are my own and they are the only reason why I’m coming back to coach.”
McCall began his basketball career as a student of the game under the tutelage of NCAA Hall Fame coaches Billy Donovan and Carolyn Peck, where he served as head manager for the Florida Gators basketball team for five years.
“After helping to win back-to-back national championships at the University of Florida, I brought my love of coaching to the high school ranks where I served as head coach for the ninth grade boys basketball team at Buchholz High School for three years,” he explained. “There, I successfully won three city championships in a row.”
He then went on to create his own Travel Basketball Organization called “Florida Splash Basketball” which encompassed kids from all over North Central Florida.
As founder and director, McCall coached 500-plus young men during its seven-year tenure.
Under his guidance, McCall said “Florida Splash Basketball” has helped produce 43 collegiate athletes, nine professional athletes (NBA, WNBA, NFL & Overseas), 100-plus academic collegiate students, and “most importantly, 11 souls obeying the gospel of Christ along the way.”
So, it is safe to say that basketball is his life. Now he gets to enjoy the coaching side of it again.
“My love of coaching developed during my tenure as team manager with the Florida Gators basketball team,” McCall said. “I learned so much in my college years. The coaching staff was great. They even allowed us, as team managers, to help coach certain drills in practice.”
McCall said his specialty was free throws.
“I helped increase our free throw percentages over my five-year span with the team,” he said. “The majority of Division I team managers all go on to become successful coaches in the collegiate ranks, but I actually fell in love with officiating.”
Thanks to Donovan and his coaching staff, McCall was able to propel his young career, as an official, within the NCAA.
“I went on to officiate 10 great years within the college ranks, but my love of coaching was always there as well,” he said. “That’s why as soon as I completed college, I jumped right into coaching.”
McCall said that his first order of business as the new head coach of the Eagles, “is pulling current grades by checking in with their teachers and putting together an academic plan to help them achieve their academic best in the classroom.”
“My focus has always been to put academics before sports,” he said.