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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
After three years and a 23-60 overall record, Paul Bodenhamer has stepped down as the boys basketball coach at Washington County High School. His decision came Thursday morning following a first-round 34-21 loss to Bardstown in the 19th District Tournament the night before.
“I gave it a day, sat down with principal (Leon) Smith and went ahead and turned in my resignation for basketball coach,” said Bodenhamer, who will still remain a teacher at the high school, as well as staying on as boys golf and track coach.
Bodenhamer said the decision was personal and wanted to concentrate on furthering his education.
“It was a personal decision,” added Bodenhamer. “In our profession, we’ve got only so long to get continued education complete, and I’m behind the eight ball there as far as getting my Master’s degree. I’ve been thinking about that for a while. It’s a personal choice, take some time away and refresh the batteries.”
After going 8-18 in their first season under Bodenhamer, and going 11-18 the second year, the Commanders struggled this year with a 4-24 record. The coach said that maybe it’s time for a new approach to the school’s boys basketball program.
“I feel like we’ve done a pretty good job of getting the program heading in the right direction,” Bodenhamer said. “Maybe a fresh set of eyes will help get these guys where they need to be.”
That fresh set of eyes will be the decision of WCHS principal Leon Smith.
“For the next few weeks, we’ll review our options,” said Smith. “We have to post any job for 30 days. It’s so early in the year, we won’t know what subject area we have in order for us to get a teacher/coach, we need to know what content area we can open up for a coach. Our hands are tied right now. We may wait a few weeks before we post the position, maybe in April. We’ll go out and try to find the best coach we can.”
Smith added that there may be a committee formed to review the applicants and recommendations will be made to site-based council, but ultimately, the decision of who the coach will be comes down to him.
“My position is if we come to an agreement on the council as to who we want, that’s who we’ll hire,” Smith said. “We’d like to get that placed as soon as possible.”
Although he is taking some time off from the court, Bodenhamer hasn’t ruled out a return to the hardwood in the future.
“I’ll never rule that out. Basketball is a passion of mine, it has been all my life. If the situation presents itself again, I would definitely be interested depending on the situation.”
Despite the ups and downs, Bodenhamer said that he enjoyed his time as boys basketball coach.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here. Obviously our win total went down a little bit this year. We implemented a lot of good things in the program, there’s some scholarships available for the kids now. I can’t say enough about my two assistants Russell Burkhead and Rick Adams. I look forward to staying in the community, teaching and coaching other sports.”