Conneaut School District has several tasks to complete before the 2012-13 school year begins.
But one thing it won’t have to worry about is who will be coaching several of the new Conneaut Area Senior High School’s varsity athletic progams.
Eight varsity coaches have been hired according to current Linesville athletic director Brandon Crum, who will take on the same duty at Conneaut Area Senior High effective July 1.
Superintendent Jarrin Sperry confirmed the hirings on Tuesday. He said the school board has not voted on the personnel moves, but that it did give Sperry permission to make the hires “to speed up the process and get the athletes going and proceed to get better,” Crum said.
“We can’t afford to miss any more time,” he said.
Conneaut School Board president Jody Sperry said final interviews for a couple of the remaining vacant head coaching positions were to take place Tuesday evening and that coaching recommendations would be handed over to the board for tonight’s executive session. She said she expects the hirings to be voted on for formal approval by the board on June 13.
“The board hasn’t voted yet, but they have given me permission to make hires,” Jarrin Sperry said. “We have a lot to do, and one of the biggest things is getting our athletic coaches in place.”
Currently, eight coaches have been hired, Crum said.
The Conneaut Eagles’ football team will be coached by Pat Gould. Tim Schleicher is the head girls volleyball coach. And Bob Leupold has been hired as the boys basketball coach.
The boys and girls soccer, golf, wrestling and boys volleyball teams, which were cooperative programs previously, will retain their coaches. Brian Kebort and Alan Wise will coach the boys and girls soccer teams, respectively. Bob Slevin reassumes his position as the boys coach, Tom Courtney will continue to coach the wrestling team, and John Chapman will coach the boys volleyball team.
Gould, Schleicher and Leupold were all varsity head coaches within the school district previously.
Gould, who coached at Linesville the previous eight seasons, will have some experience incorporating a new program. Last season, Conneaut Lake consolidated with Linesville in football. Crum said Gould, who was 45-28 as the Lions’ head coach, has already reached out to current and prospective players to advise them of plans for the upcoming season, beginning with summer conditioning, weight-lifting, etc.
“There’s nobody better,” Crum said. “I can’t think of a better person to lead our football program — for what they’ve been through — than him.”
Schleicher just coached the Linesville girls volleyball team to its best season in program history. The Lions captured the PIAA Class A championship in York in November.
Leupold has also had a pretty solid coaching career. He coached six seasons at Conneaut Valley, amassing a record of 80-61.
Interviews have been conducted for head coaching positions in cross country and girls basketball, but no decisions have been made, Crum said. Cheerleading coaches have also not been determined, and coaching positions for baseball and softball have not yet been posted.
“I’m excited about us moving forward,” Crum said. “Time will tell. We have a tough transition to make.”
Because District 10 had already formed its new regions for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years before the Conneaut School District consolidation was approved, Conneaut, which will now be Class AA or AAA depending on the sport next year, will compete against smaller classification teams during the regular season in its respective regions.
So to prepare the teams for postseason competition against larger schools, Crum said many CASH teams have added several Class AA and AAA programs to their non-region schedules for the upcoming school year.
“We want to get better,” Crum said. “It’s going to take some time to see where everything goes. But we’re making progress.”