Departures lead to area openings in coaching ranks

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Departures lead to area openings in coaching ranks

Photo by Travis David | Former Dugger Union boys basketball coach Clint Roesler goes over some instructions for the Bulldogs during a timeout this past season. Roesler resigned from the position after two seasons on the Bulldogs' bench.
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With the winter sports season officially closed for all area teams, a few coaching positions have become available.


One of the more intriguing openings comes from North Central. After just one season on the sidelines, John Ladson resigned from his position as the Thunderbirds’ boys basketball head coach.


Ladson operates a business outside of the school. His daughter, Kimber, is set to graduate later this spring and will attend Lincoln Trail College on a basketball scholarship.


This past winter, the Thunderbirds posted a record of 11-13 before ending the season with a loss to Bloomfield in the semifinals of the Class 1A White River Valley Sectional.


The Thunderbirds return four starters as well as most of its bench and have a promising group of players coming up through the feeder programs.


North Central athletic director Trent Olson has confirmed at least 10 applicants have already applied for the open position a week into the job being posted.


The North Central job is not the only opening among area boys basketball programs. 


After two seasons on the sidelines at Dugger Union, Clint Roesler has stepped down as the Bulldogs’ boss. Roesler — a North Knox grad and a current teacher at his alma mater — guided the Bulldogs to a record of 5-17 this past season and was 13-30 in his two seasons on the bench. Roesler and the Bulldogs battled a plethora of injuries over the two seasons and finished with just seven players in uniform for the postseason.


The Bulldogs graduate just one senior this season, but star player Andy Colvin has also recently announced he will be transferring to a prep school in Arizona for his senior season.


One job that will not become available for at least one more season is the Sullivan boys basketball position. Future Hall of Fame Coach Jeff Moore is not ready to call it a career yet. Moore will be returning to the Sullivan sidelines for his 35th season next year.


Following a sectional loss to South Knox last year, Moore needed some time to think about his future. Such was not the case following this past year. In the week leading up to the regional championship, Moore mentioned he was coming back and confirmed the statement following the Arrows’ season-ending loss to No. 1 ranked Brownstown Central.


The Arrows graduated three starters and two more bench players, but will still be a favorite in the Western Indiana Conference and 2A sectional once again next season.


North Knox is another opening on the boys side. The North Knox board decided to go a different direction with the team, not bringing back Aaron Hall for an 11th year.


The Warriors wrapped up this past season with a 7-17 mark and was 11-37 in the last two years under the direction of Hall.


The former Warrior coach also coached the team for eight seasons prior from 2007-08 through 2014-15.


Staying in Knox County, South Knox has also re-opened its position for a boys head coach. Longtime junior varsity coach Jim Ferris coached the Spartans this season after former coach David Burkett was suspended by the IHSAA for two years for violating rules. Shortly after Burkett’s suspension was handed down and upheld by the IHSAA, South Knox decided to let go of the coach. Burkett currently has a lawsuit filed against South Knox and the IHSAA.


Under the guidance of Ferris, the Spartans made a run to the 2A sectional title game before falling to Sullivan.


Other open boys head coaching positions in the area include Terre Haute South and across the river in Robinson, Ill. 


On the girls side, Linton-Stockton coach Jared Rehmel decided to step down after nine seasons on the Miners’ bench. Rehmel guided Linton-Stockton to a 2A sectional championship last month, knocking off No. 1 ranked North Knon on the Warriors’ home court. During his tenure at Linton, the former Shakamak standout athlete, guided the Miners to a pair of 2A state championships.


Photo by Travis David |
Former Sullivan volleyball coach Dillon Taylor opens his arms to greet Parker Mischler on senior night this past season.


In other coaching news, Sullivan recently hired former Linton-Stockton volleyball player Cassidy Clothier to take over the Lady Arrows’ volleyball program. Clothier’s younger sister, Kaitlyn was approved as the Lady Arrows’ junior varsity coach.


Clothier takes over for Dillon Taylor who jumped ship to the collegiate ranks, heading up the Franklin College men’s and women’s programs. In just three seasons with the Arrows, Taylor compiled a record of 64-29. The Arrows lost to Linton-Stockton in the 2A sectional title match the last two years as well as state power Barr-Reeve in Taylors’ first season.


Sullivan will also be looking for a new boys soccer coach as the board accepted the resignation of Cody Harrison Wednesday night.


Harrison took over the reins of his alma mater in the middle of the 2022-23 season when Sean Bourgasser resigned. This past season, the Arrows were 3-13-3 on the pitch and 2-6 in conference play under the leadership of Harrison.


North Central recently approved a trio of new hires as Nick Wheeler was named the new Thunderbirds’ football coach, Greg Kinnaman as the new baseball skipper and Anna Orsburn as the Ladybirds’ volleyball coach.


The Thunderbirds are also searching for a coach to start up a wrestling program starting at the middle school level and also including high school. 


North Central had intended to start a program last school year, but a candidate did not follow through with the process.


Thunderbirds’ athletic director Trent Olson noted the ideal candidate would start at the middle school level and possibly compete at the junior varsity level on the high school ranks in the initial stages.


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