WEST PORTSMOUTH — Even in late April and into early May, the Southern Ohio Conference Division II boys basketball coaching carousel continues.
That’s because, on Monday night, word was spreading — along Internet message boards and elsewhere — that Portsmouth West boys basketball boss Bill Hafer was out after only three seasons.
Hafer has been informed that his supplemental coaching contract will be non-renewed —and thus won’t return to lead the Senators in the 2020-21 campaign.
“I was informed last Thursday morning that my coaching position was being opened up to more candidates. I could re-apply and go through the interview process, but after taking the full weekend to think it over, I have determined that it would be best for me just to step away,” said Hafer, in a text message on Wednesday. “The last three years have been some of the best years of my life. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Working with the young men at West has been an absolute pleasure. I want to thank Mr. Bazler and the school board for giving me the opportunity to fulfill one of my dreams of being a varsity head coach for Portsmouth West.”
Hafer’s three seasons with the Senators produced records of 9-13, 6-17 and 7-16, as West went 5-11 in the expanded SOC II this past year —with Eastern entering the larger-school division to make it a now nine-team side.
He graduated from East in 2000, and from Shawnee State a few years later.
“The Washington-Nile Local School District will post the head coaching position for the boys basketball team later this week. The posting will be on our website. It is my understanding that Coach Bill Hafer does not intend to apply for the position,” wrote Washington-Nile School District Superintendent Tony Bazler in an e-mail. “While there has been no specific timeline set for the hiring process, our intent is to employ the coach prior to any potential summer workouts.”
Hafer is now the fourth SOC II boys basketball coach who manned the sidelines last season, but will not return to the same team next winter.
Eric Horton, who had completed two seasons as the Valley Indians’ head coach, said in late March that he had been informed that his coaching contract would be non-renewed —while Northwest’s Jason Smith stepped down following the end of the Mohawks’ season.
Norm Persin, who had coached at Oak Hill for 14 seasons as part of his second stint there, retired from the Oaks’ bench.
Along with the 2009 Division IV state championship, Persin has 766 career victories in 43 seasons as a head coach — making him the third all-time winningest coach in Ohio boys basketball history.
Eastern’s Lakiem Lockery completed his first season with the Eagles, while South Webster’s Brenton Cole completed his third, Wheelersburg’s Steven Ater his seventh and Minford’s Josh Shoemaker his 11th.
Waverly coach Travis Robertson has guided the Tigers since the 2007-08 campaign.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved