Cedar Park coach leads girls basketball team to 2nd in state

Family is why Donny Ott is now coaching the Cedar Park girl's basketball team after coaching boys for most of his 20-year career. 

"I had daughters and they changed my life. They made me want to coach them when they got older.  And in order to effectively coach them when they're older.  I have to have experience in that," Ott said. 

The girls on the team agree, "Him having his two little girls now. I think he enjoys it more because it's more relatable.  And he can put an impact on our lives. I think it's really cool that he coaches girls now and his little girls get to grow up and see him do that," said Cedar Park senior forward Nicole Leff. 

It seems that the move has been better than good for the Timberwolves who are now the state's second-ranked Class 5A team. 

"We don't take that as like oh we're the best of the best.  We take that as we need to keep working.  We need to get to the number one.  We need to just keep going with what we're doing," Cedar Park senior guard Hannah Wheeler said about the ranking. 

There's no question that things have changed since Coach Ott's arrival three years ago. Before he came, Cedar Park never won an outright District Championship. But with Ott, they have won three straight without losing a single district game during that stretch. "Whatever rank we are, ultimately at the end of the day it just matters what we do when we get on the court," Ott said. 

Ott's coaching is also having an effect on the girls, helping them grow in the sport they love. "He takes all of us seriously. And he talks to us. And it's been really great the past couple of years," Wheeler said. 

Cedar Park will start playoffs on February 17 against Hutto. The game will start at 7 p.m. at Pflugerville Hendrickson High School.