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Ringgold still looking for a few good coaches

| Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A little more than one month remains until classes start at Ringgold High School, and three head coaching vacancies remain.

The Ringgold School board could possibly fill the following voids at its July 31 regular meeting: head varsity coaches for boys' basketball, girls' basketball and softball.

Boys basketball coach Pete Logan announced his resignation midway through last season, effective the Rams' final game. The school board, at its June 26 regular meeting, was poised to hire Kenneth Johnson as the high school boys' basketball coach, but Johnson removed himself from consideration at the last minute.

Seven candidates have interviewed for the position since the spring, according to Ringgold Athletic Director Ron McMichael.

The board recently opened girls' basketball coach Nick Mandich's job after five years at the helm and, likewise, chose not to rehire softball coach Bob Karpinsky after two years heading the program.

McMichael acknowledged the rare quandary of having so many varsity openings so late in the year, but cited several factors in the delay, including his illness this spring and negotiations between administration officials and the teachers' union.

For summer league basketball, boys' assistant coach Rodney Taylor has stepped in to help and middle school girls' coach Rick Radic is helping with the girls, McMichael said.

“(The vacancies) all come by their own circumstances but uniquely exist the same time,” McMichael said. “It's just how things go at sometimes. Summer leagues and open gym availability has passed, and obviously, we'd like to get the kids onto the courts and on fields as quickly as possible.”

McMichael, members of the administration and the school board's athletic committee have finished conducting interviews this week.

School board and athletic committee member Maureen Ott said time constraints should be considered equally important as choosing the right candidates. Ott said she was uncertain if the board would vote to hire any coaches until she sees the agenda later this week.

“It's important to hire them as soon as we can, but not hire (a coach) just to hire one. I think we want to take our time and pick the best people,” Ott said.

“What I do as a board member is let the administration make the recommendations. If I support the recommendations, I go along with it. If I don't support them, I won't.”

Athletic Committee chairman Larry Mauro did not return a message seeking comment.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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