Panthers coach resigns before getting started

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Georgiana Principal Keith York was ready and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Panthers new head football coach.

Only his new coach never showed.

No sooner had the Butler County Board of Education approved Ray Wilson's hiring and return to Georgiana on June 16, York received a phone call the following Saturday. Wilson asked that he be released from his contract with the board and that he wanted to stay at Straughn.

"He said that he was staying where he was for personal reasons," York explained.

Calls made by the Advocate to Wilson's home and his cell phone requesting comment were not immediately returned.

Wilson was defensive coordinator and head softball coach at Straughn and will keep his two positions there, said Trent Taylor who is head football coach and athletic director at Straughn.

"I think that was a steal on our part," Taylor said. "Georgiana's loss is our gain."

Taylor said that Wilson's personal reason to stay at Straughn was due to the declining health of his father.

"I think he would have made an excellent head football coach," Taylor said. "But it's nothing against Georgiana or Keith (York). (Ray) just wants to stay closer to his father."

Wilson had previously worked as an assistant coach at Georgiana under former head coach Shane Wasden. Wilson's his first coaching job in 1995 was as head junior varsity football coach. Wilson later coached the defensive backs and running backs for Wasden on the varsity in 1996.

York said that a request to the board to accept Wilson's resignation will be presented at the board's next meeting on Thursday.

Because the position will be vacant again, the standard operating procedure will be that the job will be re-posted. However, York said that he has a coach in mind to fill that spot.

"I'll just get my next man in line," York said.

Only it will be until late July until his recommendation for hire can be brought before the board.

York would not say whom the person he will recommend, but he did say that he does know this area well.

"I wish that the board could hire him (Thursday), but I know the job has to be reposted," he said. "It would make it easier for him and the kids to get to know each other if he could come right in."

Until a new coach is hired, York has continued to leave the Panthers weight room open for varsity players to conduct their summer workouts.

"I think we've had kids here just about daily," he said.