TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
For the second time in three years, North Laurel athletic director Jimmy Durham is searching for someone to coach the state’s all-time leader in wins.
This past week, former Miss Softball Becky Osborne resigned as head coach of the North Laurel softball program and Durham posted the job open on Friday — now the waiting game begins.
Durham admitted he has “some people in the front of the line” that he would like to take over as head coach, but also said, “because of career moves, family moves and timing,” those people might not apply for the position.
“There are three things that I am definitely looking for out of the new coach,” Durham said. “No. 1 — longevity. That’s the most important thing. Now I know it’s going to be hard to find someone to stay around 10 years, but I would like to have someone at least stay for two player’s cycles, which would be eight years. Longevity is the most important thing I’m looking for. No. 2 — I want someone that will have youthful energy. That’s important as well and No. 3 — I want someone that will embrace our past and to have a relationship with our Little League and middle school programs. Those are the most important things.”
North Laurel entered the past season ranked as one of the top 10 teams in the state, but could never get on track, eventually losing to cross-town rival South Laurel in the 13th Region championship game. Durham would like to see the program make another run at a state championship in the near future.
“I think that’s everyone’s goals,” he said. “Our goals shouldn’t be that we beat South Laurel or Corbin. We need to look at the big picture and be able to compete with the teams such as Ballard and Greenwood.
“That being said, I believe we have become a bit spoiled in Laurel County,” Durham added. “Some teams have been playing the entire time and not won a region and advance to the state tournament. It’s a big honor to win region and once you are able to advance to the state tournament, of course you want to compete at that level, too.”
Durham was quick to point out that whoever gets the job won’t be taking over a cupboard that’s empty.
“Obviously, there might be some growing pains for a year or two, but we have a lot of young talent coming up and we have a good cohesive unit returning at the high school level right now. Obviously, we would like to have someone hired before the first day of school, which is Aug. 7, but once again, if we get an applicant that we like and it takes a bit longer, it might go past that date.”