On Monday night, members of the Wood County Board of Eduction will be asked to approve the appointment of Parkersburg South High School biology teacher Donna Dixon as the head wrestling coach of the Patriots, who have won the last four Class AAA?state titles.
It would be a landmark appointment, as veteran Mountain State wrestling observers say there never has been a female high school head wrestling coach in West Virginia.
There has, however, been a highly successful female wrestling coach in Wood County as Tammy Newhart-Koreski has led the Edison Middle School program.
Ever since veteran South coach Paul Jackson resigned following the Patriots' historic state title in February, this high-profile position has been a dominant topic of conversation in the Parkersburg South sports community, as wrestling is and always has been the most successful sport on Blizzard Drive.
Dixon was one of four teachers to apply for the position, and once even a single teacher applies, any lay coaches interested in the job are not eligible to be hired. That eliminated long-time South assistant coach Gary Porter from consideration.
Dixon, whose husband Kevin is an assistant coach and whose son Matt will be a junior on the team this fall, has indicated she would keep the current crop of assistant coaches.
The reactions to this story, predictably, have been varied.
Several South fans I've encountered have expressed delight with the appointment, knowing it will allow coach Jackson's group of assistant coaches to remain with the program.
Yet, mention outside south Parkersburg the Patriots are about to hire a female wrestling coach and the initial reaction is one of disbelief. I recently visited the campus of a South rival and the reaction there was off the charts.
That's understandable, for any time an appointment breaks new ground, opinions will be strong and emotions will run high.
In recent years, the Wood County public school system has seen the hiring of its first female high school athletics director in Lori Lowers and its first female high school principal in Pam Goots, both of whom are part of the administration at Parkersburg High School.
In recommending the appointment of Dixon, South administrators bypassed the applicant with the most experience, former South state wrestling champion Dan Clevenger, who previously served as assistant coach and head coach of the Patriots.
Clevenger had asked to speak at last Monday's Board of Education meeting, but did not do so since the appointment of Dixon did not appear on the agenda as had been anticipated.
I learned early in my writing career to stay out of such matters, other than to do my best to keep the public as informed as possible, which my staff and I have made an effort to do.
I do know that every day South goes without a wrestling coach, the program -which lest we forget is composed of young men who are dedicated to the sport -goes without the leadership necessary to maintain the high standards that have been set.
This issue has festered far too long and needs to be resolved ASAP.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org