Former Georgetown varsity girls basketball head coach approved as assistant for Lady Tigers –
After heading the varsity girls basketball program at Georgetown High School for the past 21 years, Bernie Cropper has been approved as the newest assistant coach at Bethel-Tate High School.
Cropper was shocked when the Georgetown Board of Education failed to renew his annual coaching contract for the upcoming school year, but was pleased to join Bethel-Tate varsity girls basketball head coach Dave Fallis to help lead the Lady Tigers for the 2017-18 season.
“I have a lot of respect for Dave (Fallis) as a basketball coach and a man, and I’m very grateful for Dave and the Bethel-Tate School District for giving me the opportunity to get back in the gym,” said Cropper.
In 21 years as head girls basketball coach at GHS Cropper has compiled a coaching record of 372 wins and 119 losses, and holds an overall career coaching record of 508 wins and 216 losses.
During his time as head of the GHS girls basketball program his teams won 17 Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference National Division titles that included 15 consecutive league titles, while also staking claim to 13 sectional titles, two district titles, and an Elite Eight appearance.
“We’re pretty darn lucky to have him,” said Fallis. “It’s been a dream come true for our program.”
When asked why Cropper would not be recommended by Georgetown Exempted Village Schools to continue his long coaching career with the school district, Georgetown Superintendent Christopher Burrows said, “It is time for the girls basketball program to go in a different direction.” Georgetown would later select Janel (Iden) Blankespoor as the new varsity girls basketball coach.
Since approved as the newest assistant coach at Bethel-Tate, Fallis said Cropper is already making a difference.
“It’s been great to have him. He made an impact after the first 15 minutes of working with the girls,” said Fallis.
According to Fallis, Cropper will be given a great deal of freedom in their quest to improve the Bethel-Tate High School girls basketball program, a program that has enjoyed a great deal of success in recent years.
“Anything he wants to add or anything he wants to do, I’m all for it,” said Fallis, pleased to have such an experienced and knowledgable coach on his sidelines. “I’m the student and he’s the teacher. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Bernie. This was the best possible scenario for our program.”
Cropper was excited to join Fallis and the Lady Tigers after coaching against them in the Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference.
“I’ve already learned a lot from Dave and I’m very fortunate to get the opportunity to help out,” said Cropper. “I had to leave behind some great kids at Georgetown, but luckily I’ve met some great kids at Bethel-Tate.”