Courier sports staff
Ottumwa School Superintendent Davis Eidahl said he hopes a new high school boys varsity basketball coach will be hired by early April.
Ottumwa athletic director Tom Kopatich and high school principal Mark Hanson will lead the search for a new coach. The job search was prompted by the resignation of coach Chris Gravett, who coached the boys team for the last five years. The Bulldogs finished 2-20 overall and 1-11 in the CIML Metro Conference this past season. Gravett, who resigned to spend more time with his children, will continue to teach at Evans Middle School. His overall record in five years at Ottumwa was 39-71.
“We’re going to throw the net open so we can hopefully have a large pool of candidates,” Eidahl said.
In their search, Kopatich and Hansen will focus heavily on character and the candidates’ past success at building programs from the ground up; fifth grade through varsity, Eidahl said. He said successful programs tend to have strong youth programs, which produce fundamentally sound varsity teams.
While Ottumwa will concentrate efforts statewide, Eidahl said he’s not opposed to hiring someone out of state.
“There are some online sites we use for all our openings and some of them are imposed nationwide,” he said.
While Kopatich and Hanson will lead, teachers and coaches already in the system, and possibly board members also will be involved in the hiring process.
“We felt we had a very thorough, successful process hiring our football and baseball coach and we want to continue that process,” Eidahl said.