GEORGETOWN — With a little more than five weeks until the start of the 2015/2016 school year, Georgetown High School remains without a head basketball coach.
Following a season where a senior-laden G-Men squad finished as Southwest District runners-up, legendary Georgetown head coach Jerry Underwood stepped down from the position.
While Underwood’s resignation was received with sadness and well-wishes, it also opened up an opportunity for up and coming coaches. After a two-month search, Underwood thought he had his successor – Jay Chadwell.
Appointing Chadwell as the team’s head coach seemed like a no-brainer. Chadwell is intrinsically linked to Georgetown, having led the G-Men to their only state title during a magical 26-0 season in 2006/2007, and as a point guard, Underwood often called him his “coach on the floor.” Last February, Chadwell was inducted into the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame.
Having recently graduated from Defiance College with a masters degree in marketing and communications, Chadwell was looking for work and the stars seemed to be aligned for him to return to Georgetown.
But there was a catch. No teaching positions were available.
“I never thought in a million years I would be sitting at Georgetown thinking, ‘I can’t find a basketball coach’,” Georgetown Superintendent Chris Burrows said.
Burrows confirmed that Chadwell had been the favorite to receive the position, but Burrows was unable to make a recommendation to the Georgetown Exempted Village Schools Board of Education because the school couldn’t offer Chadwell a full-time position.
With coaching salaries at around $4,500 per sport coached, a full-time job is necessary to be able to earn a living.
Burrows said that there had been a possible partnership between the Brown County juvenile court and Georgetown’s school district, but the job opportunity involved never came to fruition. The News Democrat was unable to independently confirm that the juvenile court was looking to open a job in the Georgetown school system.
With that job off the table, Chadwell’s chances of landing the position dried up.
“It was just unfortunate,” Chadwell said. “Some things we thought were in place didn’t go that way. I thought once (the alleged job fell through) it was the right thing to do to step away. The most important thing is the kids and to get the right guy in there.
“When we thought it was going to be me that’s when I stepped in and when we found out it wasn’t going to be me I thought it was the right move to step away.”
Chadwell led the annual summer G-Men basketball camp, and Burrows confirmed that Chadwell would be paid for his work.
But moving forward, Burrows seems frustrated by the situation.
“It’s just a shame all the way around,” Burrows said. “We’ll get through it. But just like in any position, I refuse to hire just to hire.”
“If we have to wait, we’ll wait. If we have to be creative, we’ll be creative, and move forward.”
Burrows said that he may have more information following the July 16 board of education meeting.
Chadwell said that he was grateful for the opportunity to coach this summer and appreciated having been recommended as the G-Men’s potential next coach.
“I would like to thank Chris Burrows, Jerry Underwood, and Mike Jennings for giving me the opportunity,” Chadwell said. “It was very much appreciated and I wish it would have worked out better.”
Per Ohio High School Athletic Association guidelines, Oct. 30 is the first day that the G-Men can begin practicing, with scrimmages beginning on Nov. 20 and the season starting on Nov. 27.
The G-Men open up their regular season on Dec. 1 at home against Fairfield-Leesburg.