Apparently, former Bellmont football coaches Rick Burkhalter and Greg Meyer, co-head coaches two years ago with the sudden resignation of Toney Bergman, are not riding off into the sunset after a big run at Bellmont.
South Adams Athletic Director Mike Pries was happy to confirm Wednesday that both Burkhalter and Meyer will be assistant coaches for Jason Arnold and the South Adams Starfires this fall.
"It's a great fit for us," stated Pries, who noted that South Adams lost veteran offensive coordinator Jared Owens to Crestview, Oh. High School. Owens is the new head coach there.
Burkhalter, offensive coordinator at Bellmont during the 14-1 state championship season of 2008, will likely fill that slot at South Adams. Meyer, a line coach, will likely work with Burkhalter. South Adams runs an offense very similar to that of Bellmont, with a base running attack out of the Run and Shoot formation. South Adams does have senior quarterback Dustin Wanner returning after he guided the Stars to the sectional championship game last year.
Burkhalter was head coach for the Braves last year and indicated he was ready to let go of football after several years of heavy involvement. Meyer indicated that he would use his spare time to follow his son, Daniel Meyer, who will play for the University of Indianapolis this coming fall.
"They're football coaches. It's in their blood," said Pries, defending the coaches' change of heart.
Burkhalter and Meyer, non-teachers, stepped aside and Bellmont administrators took advantage of several teaching openings to hire a full-time coach. The first choice of the BHS administration was one of the up-and-coming young coaches in Indiana, Nate Andrews of Lapel. After a messy school board meeting and two no votes, Andrews pulled out. North Adams officials then hired former Wayne coach Larry Getts.
"They are definitely strong football guys and have that great championship experience. We're glad to have them working with (head coach) Jason Arnold. We're excited," stated Pries.
Burkhalter and Meyer will have to be approved by the SA school board. Pries packages the assistant coaches and offers them to the board for the July meeting. He does not expect an opposition.
The SA board approved a new boys basketball coach Tuesday in former Columbus North assistant Andrew Brown. The board also accepted the resignation of girls varsity basketball coach Brandon Bradley after just one season at the helm. He replaced Kip Jones last summer.
In a letter to the school board last Friday, Bradley said he left South Adams to become the head girls' coach at Whitko High School in Whitley County, a steppingstone, he believes, to his goal of being the head coach of a women's college basketball team.
He stated in the letter, "I could stay at SA the next three to four years, build a nice program, win some games, and really have a nice resume, but the jobs that would be available to me at that time would be similar to what Whitko offers now."
The SA board will fill the head coaching vacancy before the 2011-12 season starts on October 24.
Two other South Adams coaches also resigned:
—Aimee Buckland, the assistant girls' soccer coach.
—Karen Morgan, the reserve softball coach.
Pries noted that South Adams will host a meet and greet session with Brown on Friday, June 17, at 6 p.m. in the high school gym. This event is open to all prospective players, parents, and the general public. Light refreshments will be served.