BELOIT - Fourteen coaches applied for the vacant varsity boys basketball coaching position at West Branch. The list includes former University Mount Union mens head coach Lee Hood, former Sebring head coach Brian Clark as well as current Western Reserve girls coach Josh Scott.
"We want to move on this as quickly as we can," superintendent Scott Weingart said. "We're going to move forward with interviewing as soon as possible."
The job became open when the West Branch school board asked previous coach John Hancock to resign after three years at the helm where he compiled a 19-44 record.
West Branch hasn't had a winning season since 2008, and has just four winning campaigns since 2000.
The hiring committee is led by former West Branch basketball coach and new athletic director Bob McCosky. McCosky coached the Warriors from 1974 to 1997 and compiled a 268-242 record that included two regional appearances. Two school board members along with principal Brian Coffee round out the committee.
The full list of applicants is Jared Adamson, Bernard Bolha, Brian Clark, Mitchell Gerycz, Matt Hackenberg, Lee Hood, Ed Mason, Pete Novakovic, Robert Offenbecher, David Potopsky, Josh Scott, Brad Smith, Robert Stircula and Bill Wallbrown.
Some candidate highlights:
- Lee Hood
Hood coached the Mount Union Purple Raiders for 19 years compiling a 250-246 record. He was named Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1997, the same year he led the team to a record 25 wins, OAC regular season title and tournament title and the school's first ever men's basketball Division III NCAA Tournament bid.
- Brian Clark
Clark headed the Sebring boys program for 12 years compiling a 161-88 record. He was 2002 AP Ohio Division IV Coach of the Year, a two-time AP District Coach of the Year, and the 2005 Ohio High School Boys Coaches Association Coach of the Year. He won three conference titles during that span, four district titles and two regional titles.
- Robert Stircula
Stircula was the Cleveland Benedictine head basketball coach for six seasons where he went 92-55 and won four Division II district championships and led the team to an appearance in the state semifinals.
- David Potopsky
Potopsky was most recently head basketball coach at Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School in New Philadelphia from 2005-11. His best season record in that time was 13-8. He is more well known as the former head basketball coach at Dalton High School where he led the team to the state semifinals twice and was a two-time OHSBCA Division IV Coach of the Year.
- Josh Scott
Scott, a 2002 West Branch graduate, is the current coach of the Western Reserve varsity girls program and in four seasons has gone 70-21 overall and 49-7 in Tier 2 of the Inter-Tri County League.
- Mitch Gerycz
Former head coach at Padua. Helped lead school to district title in 2005. Assistant coach at Walsh Jesuit.
- Brad Smith
A former assistant coach under previous West Branch head coach John Hancock and a 1989 graduate of the school.
- Pete Novakovic
Berne Union High School head coach 2007-08. Was Division I Geaugo County Boys Basketball Coaches Association Independent Coach of the Year serving as interim at Lakewood St. Edwards in 1996.
- Robert Offenbecher - West Branch High School physical education teacher. United Local football offensive coordinator who also applied for the West Branch football coaching job last year.
- Matt Hackenberg
Varsity assistant at East Canton High School. Producer at sportstimemachine.net.
- Bernard Bolha
Bolha is the former girls varsity head coach at Chaney.
E-mail B.J. Lisko at email@example.com