Hale returns as Oak Hill girls hoops coach

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Oak Hill girls basketball coach and district superintendent Doug Hale

Oak Hill Union
Local Schools Superintendent Doug Hale will continue to serve as both the
varsity girls basketball coach and as a key district administrator. In a move that ended a much-publicized stalemate amongst the
Oak Hill Union Local Board of Education, Hale has decided to continue as girls
basketball coach while becoming the new Oak Hill High School/Middle School
Principal.


OAK HILL — Now this is taking one for the team.

As in the Oak Hill High School girls basketball team.

Explaining that it was his own decision, Oak Hill Union
Local Schools Superintendent Doug Hale will continue to serve as both the
varsity girls basketball coach and as a key district administrator.

It just wasn’t the administrative position he originally had
in mind.

In a move that ended a much-publicized stalemate amongst the
Oak Hill Union Local Board of Education, Hale has decided to continue as girls
basketball coach while becoming the new Oak Hill High School/Middle School
Principal.

He made that announcement during a special Board meeting on
Thursday.

Hale, with the Oak Hill BOE divided on the issue, had sought
to continue as both the district’s Interim Superintendent and as the girls
varsity basketball coach.

He served in both capacities this past basketball season,
being named Interim Superintendent in January while leading the Lady Oaks to a
25-2 record and to the Division III state championship game.

By becoming the high school/middle school principal, the
controversy comes to an end over whether or not Hale should be permitted to
continue as both superintendent and girls varsity basketball coach.

In fact, he is already looking forward to Monday, which is
the first day of the Lady Oaks’ summer program.

“I just announced to them that we’ll be in the gym on Monday
night running up and down the floor,” said Hale. “So they better bring their
shoes.”

Hale’s first announcement of the night, though, was the
major one, following an hour-and-a-half executive session at the outset of the
meeting.

When he and the Board returned to the Oak Hill High School
cafetorium, Hale — to loud applause and a standing ovation from an estimated 70
individuals — said “I’ll be coaching the Lady Oaks next year.”

Among those in attendance were members of the Lady Oaks, as
well as their parents, community members and general Lady Oak fans.

The Board unanimously hired Hale in separate votes for first
the principal’s position followed by the supplemental coaching contract.

Both of Hale’s contracts are for the 2009-10 academic year
only.

When asked about his decision, Hale explained that he made
it alone and “that it was just something that came upon a spur of the moment.”

“This is an opportunity to help with the situation that
we’re currently in, being divided on the coaching and the administrative
position,” he said. “I thought the Board felt real comfortable about the
situation and I did too. It was my decision to do this. I know the Board
members wanted to resolve this situation as did I. We didn’t want this to
continue into June, with the Lady Oaks supposed to get started (for summer
program) on June 1 and the community still concerned about what is going to
happen. For the girls not to be able to move forward on Monday with their
summer schedule, I know they weren’t looking forward to that and I wasn’t
either as being their coach for the last 12 years. So I was thinking ‘How can
we resolve this?’ I think this was a good resolution for our district.
Hopefully, we can get back to business now.”

Once Hale was re-hired as the head coach, his varsity staff
— which includes his wife Linda and daughter Whitney — was also re-hired.

Hale fills the high school/middle school principal’s
position, which is being vacated by the retiring Tim McCoy.

McCoy’s retirement becomes effective June 30, but Hale said
he will remain “as Interim Superintendent until the search for a superintendent
has been completed.”

That process begins on June 8, when the next Oak Hill Union
Local BOE meeting is scheduled.

But the majority of the attention on Hale has centered
around his desire to continue as the Lady Oaks’ coach.

In his dozen seasons as the highly-successful girls mentor,
Hale has amassed 239 victories, part of 354 for his entire coaching career.

Under his tutelage, the Lady Oaks are the two-time Division
III state runners-up.

Furthermore, the top eight Lady Oaks from last season’s team
are all returning for next season.

Hale restated his desire to continue as the girls’ bench
boss.

“When community members come to bat for you, and your past
and present players stand up for you, it’s heart-felt. Obviously, there is a
lot of devotion to the Lady Oaks’ basketball program. And I would be fibbing to
say that I didn’t have the same devotion back to them,” he said.

Hale also spoke of his desire to lead the Oak Hill Union
Local School District on a permanent basis.

By becoming high school/middle school principal, Hale faces
a sizable salary decrease.

Before becoming Interim Superintendent, Hale was named as
Assistant Superintendent, a position now eliminated by the district.

“My ultimate goal is to lead this district as superintendent,
and if need be, as superintendent only,” he said.

That time, though, as evidenced by Thursday’s developments,
is not now.

“This is not the right time to do that (become
Superintendent),” said Hale.

Board President Aaron Michael spoke highly of Hale’s
resolution.

“This has been a tough process. But I want to thank Doug
Hale for stepping up and coming up with this resolution,” said Michael. “Doug
Hale has always had the best interest of this district in mind.”

 

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