Parkersburg South is going to have a new wrestling coach.
Of course, everyone already knew that since former head man Paul Jackson retired after the Patriots captured their fourth consecutive Class AAA mat crown in Huntington earlier this year.
There's little question coach Jackson was one of the main reasons the Patriots have had so much success.
On the other hand, Jackson would be the first to tell you the credit doesn't all belong to him. That's because he not only had a dedicated group of wrestlers, but also because coach Jackson felt he had the best group of assistant wrestling coaches.
One of those is Gary Porter, who coach Jackson has told me for quite some time should be and was without a doubt the best man for the job.
Coach Jackson wanted to see Porter hired as the head man for a lot of reasons. However, perhaps the main point of contention behind wanting Porter was because coach Jackson understood if he was the hire the entire assistant coaching staff would stay intact.
Unfortunately, Porter is not a teacher and is thus considered a lay coach. Even though he applied for the job, Porter won't be interviewed by Rick Leach, the Patriots' athletics director.
The four candidates who will be interviewed are Daniel Fedorczyk, Elwin Armann, Dan Clevenger and Donna Dixon.
Clevenger, who is a driver's education teacher at Parkersburg South, was a former head coach of the Patriot mat program and is hoping to get the nod.
During his tenure at Parkersburg South, Clevenger coached state champion Scott Moore during his 135-pound title run in 1988 and again in 1989 when he won it at 140 pounds.
Armann, who is an assistant track coach for the Patriots, teaches fifth grade at Martin Elementary School while Fedorczyk was just hired into the system. Fedorczyk, a Weirton Madonna graduate, will be a science teacher at PSHS and also will join Patriot head coach Jon Bolen as an assistant football coach this year. He also has ties to Calhoun County where he previously coached different sports.
Dixon, a biology teacher at Parkersburg South, is pretty familiar with the program. Her husband Kevin is a current assistant coach and their son Matt was a state qualifier this past season as a sophomore 195-pounder.
Currently, Leach is still on vacation soaking up the warm sun and playing some golf in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He is expected back in town the first of next week and is hoping the interview process can proceed shortly thereafter.
"I'd like to do that as early as I can next week," Leach stated. "I'd like to get it out of the way and get it started."
Leach said the interviews could've been done before he left on vacation, but that process didn't work out because no board of education member was available at that time to observe the interviews. No matter what happens, it's quite obvious to me the most important thing for the program is to keep the current crop of assistants and maintain the Patriot family atmosphere.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org