Damon Bost was already planning his eventual move to the coast.
Bost, a longtime basketball assistant at Hopewell, figured that he would follow former Titans coach Eric Davis after he resigned in May and took a job at West Brunswick High, near Wilmington.
"It just felt natural for me to follow him down there and be an assistant to him in the next few years," said Bost. "I just figured we would always work together. Me and my family had pretty much penciled it in, but it wasn't penned in yet."
Instead of following Davis, Bost will pick up where the only basketball coach in Hopewell's history left off, taking over a program that has seen its share of success in the last few seasons.
Bost and Davis have a long history together.
The two have known each other since they played basketball together at North Meck. Bost said he and Davis decided back then that one day they would be basketball coaches.
"When you're kids - 14 or 15 - you aren't really thinking, but that's how it all started," said Bost, who also played football and baseball for the Vikings before graduating in 1994.
Davis approached Bost after he graduated from Western Carolina to join their alma mater's basketball staff as a volunteer assistant. They worked together under Vikings' coach Duane Lewis during the 2000-2001 season.
Davis left to open Hopewell at the end of that season and Bost quickly followed, joining the Titans' staff as the junior varsity coach in 2002. He had been assisting Davis since.
Bost said working under Davis for the past eight years prepared him for his first head coaching position.
"I've always had as much responsibility as any assistant coach you could ever imagine," said Bost, who was largely in charge of the Titans defense and post players.
Bost said the transition has been smooth because he has been able to sit down with Davis, who he said he talks to nearly every day, to go over the in-and-outs of running a basketball team. He'll also give the Titans continuity, knowing the players on the team since they entered in the program.
But Bost admits that he still has a lot to learn, such as scheduling, fundraising and other administrative aspects - something that he didn't have to worry about until now.
On the basketball side, Bost has a similar philosophy to Davis after coaching together for a decade.
"We're still going to work hard and teach the kids a high IQ for the game," said Bost.
Bost said Davis had a lot to do with him applying for the head coaching position at Hopewell after he approached him to ask if he would be interested in taking over the program for him.
"I was honored that he even said that," the 34-year-old said. "The fact that he endorse me, wanting me to further myself gave me the inspiration to go for it."
That conversation propelled Bost, who works full-time at Kellogg's, to apply for the job when it was opened up for the general public.
Bost had an interview with Hopewell athletic director Jamie Billings, who officially hired him two weeks ago.
"Damon brings an extreme love for Hopewell basketball and our school in general," said Billings.
"We believe he will continue the Hopewell basketball excellence on and off the court."
Bost said he was grateful with how encouraging and supportive Billings and Hopewell's principal Louise Jones have been since his hiring.
Bost said he feels the pressure of keeping up the recent Titans' success, which includes winning the last three regular season conference titles.
But to do that, he will have to overcome some challenges, having lost six of their top eight players from last season, including all-conference players DeMon Brooks and Jordan Downing.
Regardless of how many wins and losses his Titans have, Bost - who was born and raised on Hambright Road, the street right next to Hopewell High, and grew up in Huntersville - is just excited about the opportunity.
"I got the basketball job in my own backyard," said Bost. "I couldn't ask for anything better than that."