By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
CORBIN — Although their season won’t start until late November, the search for the next head coach of the Corbin Lady Redhounds is about to heat up.
The search comes after Jennifer Parsons resigned in June after 12 years at the helm of the Lady Redhounds. Parsons gave up coaching to accept the position of principal at Corbin Middle School, a place she’s called home as a teacher for 12 years.
Corbin High School Athletics Director Thom Smith said he’s pleased with the interest shown in the position, but admitted he wasn’t surprised considering the recent success of the team.
“We expected this to be a rather sought after position because of the past season that the team experienced,” Smith said. “They’re coming off a 13th Region Championship and a state tournament appearance, so coach Parsons left the program in very good shape.
“A lot of the talent from last year’s squad is coming back this season, so it’s a good opportunity for a coach to step in to a position to win right away,” he added.
Smith said there’s been between 12 and 16 applicants submitted for the position, but there hasn’t been much he could do over the past few weeks, due to the annual ‘dead period’ imposed on high school athletics by the KHSAA. With that period ending on July 10, the process is now in motion and he said he expects things to move rather quickly.
“We felt like we’ve had pretty good response and interest in the position,” Smith said. “We are going to start interviewing early this week and to be honest, we hope to have a decision here shortly.”
In addition to himself, Smith said there would be a selection committee consisting of five or six people, including the Corbin High School principal, a member of the school’s site-based decision making committee and a parent. As far as expectations and what Smith and the interview committee will be looking for in the new coach, he said there are the obvious things like coaching history and basketball knowledge, but added that character would play a part in the decision as well.
“We’re looking for someone in the same grain as coach Parsons and of course, the same kind of high character that she carried herself with,” Smith said. “It’s going to be hard to find someone that will match the caliber of coach that we had in coach Parsons.
“In the beginning with Jennifer (Parsons) we didn’t really know just what we had, but it started with good character,” he added. “We have some candidates with a good background already and we have some candidates without a background, so we have to just go through the process and see how things pan out from there.”
As for the summer program and current conditioning, Smith said a interim was in place over the summer so the Lady Redhounds didn’t lose any time on the floor due to the vacant spot. He said even though the team doesn’t officially start practice for a while he would like to make the process as quick and seemless as possible for the benefit of the team.
“We want to get it done quick because that’s probably what is best,” Smith said. “Hopefully we can get our heads together and make the best decision for the program and see what happens from there.”