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Old 04-13-12, 05:57 PM
snsports snsports is offline
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Hancock out at West Branch

The Salem News is reporting that John Hancock's contract won't be renewed as West Branch varsity boys basketball coach.

John is a really nice guy and I wish him all the best.

In the meantime, former Sebring coach Brian Clark has to immediately come to mind as the front-runner for this if the WB board/administration wants him.

Thoughts?

Last edited by snsports; 04-13-12 at 10:26 PM..
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Old 04-13-12, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snsports View Post
The Salem News is reporting that John Hancock's contract won't be renewed as West Branch varsity boys basketball coach. Sources say the board is going to vote 5-0 despite backing from AD, principal and super.

John is a really nice guy and I wish him all the best.

In the meantime, former Sebring coach Brian Clark has to immediately come to mind as the front-runner for this if the WB board/administration wants him.

Thoughts?
Hiring Brian Clark, with his resume, should be a no-brainer. That is, assuming that he will apply.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:25 PM
snsports snsports is offline
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Here is the article for Saturday's paper:

http://salemnews.net/page/content.de....html?nav=5009

Turning West Branch into a basketball power would be a challenge, but Clark would be the guy to do it. Knowing how good he was at Sebring this would be a great fit. We'll have a full story once all the applications are in.

B.J. Lisko
Salem News Sports Editor
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Old 04-13-12, 10:56 PM
goshengophers goshengophers is offline
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The BOE needs to step up to the plate with a financial package like it did for Coach Dota, if it wants to attract quality candidates.
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Old 04-14-12, 08:41 AM
allaroundsports allaroundsports is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snsports View Post
Here is the article for Saturday's paper:

http://salemnews.net/page/content.de....html?nav=5009

Turning West Branch into a basketball power would be a challenge, but Clark would be the guy to do it. Knowing how good he was at Sebring this would be a great fit. We'll have a full story once all the applications are in.

B.J. Lisko
Salem News Sports Editor
Wishing Hancock the best - he made strides and improvements with the basketball program each year.
Agree - Salem passed up Clark - which was disappointing - maybe the BOE and those significant in the hiring process at WB will be wiser....
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Old 04-14-12, 12:03 PM
goshengophers goshengophers is offline
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Clark would be a good candidate, as would Tom King.
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Old 04-14-12, 12:11 PM
TROJANMAN72 TROJANMAN72 is offline
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There should be no doubt that Clark is the guy, what he did at Sebring was great and then got kicked to the curb, i hope he builds a dynasty at W.B.
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Old 04-15-12, 06:51 AM
ex-coach ex-coach is offline
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This situation is a good example of a brain-dead school board. West Branch is laying off 13 teachers. How are they going to lure a qualified coach to the school system without a teaching job. Impossible to create a position in the school when they have good 1st and 2nd year teachers they have to let go.
Brian Clark, as many forget, hasn't won when you're talking about program building. He won at a school where Coach Brook built a great program that he took over. He won 2 or three games at Carrollton when he was there. If firing John to hire Brian was the plan it wasn't a good one.
John was in the process building a program! He put in the time and work at the lower levels and no one cares more about the program and the kids then him. Was John the best bench coach or the most knowledgeable x and o guy? Maybe not but he was working on that and had a good staff to help him with that.
This is what is truely amazing about how much John cares about the kids and the program, I heard he is still doing all the spring and summer stuff until they hire a new coach. John is a West Branch Warrior and this was a VERY BAD DECISION!

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Old 04-15-12, 09:20 AM
TROJANMAN72 TROJANMAN72 is offline
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First thing Hancock is a nice guy, not a good coach at all, seen him make alot of bad decisions during games. Second Brian Clark is a proven winner, two time coach of the year and a winning percentage that was pretty good at Sebring, and last thing he wont do is play the name game which has hurt W.B in the past. Hopefully they hire Brian for the job and turn the program around!
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Old 04-15-12, 05:02 PM
snsports snsports is offline
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It's not a secret who the Salem News is backing for this. I did a column today for it here --

http://salemnews.net/page/content.de....html?nav=5009

Hancock is an incredibly nice guy, but as he himself said he just didn't win enough. I will say how he was let go was a little poorly timed given he already set everything up for the summer. He is a class act, and yes, he is hanging on to help until they hire someone. I wish he would've been more successful, but 19 wins in three seasons isn't going to keep anyone in place for very long.

As for Clark inheriting Brook's team, for a year or two it may have helped, but Clark was on Brook's staff and was a part of building that program as well. Clark's leaner years were because he didn't have a kid bigger than 6-feet-tall for two of them and they still were around .500 most of the time. If you say Clark benefited from Brook you have to say Steve Beshera benefited in a 15-win season from Clark, too, which would have been the least amount of wins Sebring would have had that year had they kept Clark in place. Beshera's fast-break offense which took place of the Brook/Clark sets and slower pace didn't allow Sebring to beat anyone you didn't expect them to -- (If I remember correctly they lost twice to Wellsville, twice to Southern and twice to McDonald -- if Clark is still there they at least go 3-3 or at worst 2-4 in that stretch. Sebring last year came together under Mark Baia - a former Clark assistant - once they settled back into the traditional Sebring style of play.

Clark will always have my utmost respect for not only his coaching but for how he handled the year when the team tragically lost Jake Scott. That cemented it for me. I have no vested interest, no kid in the school, no relative at either Sebring or West Branch, so my observations come from a very neutral point of view. I didn't know Clark until I became sports editor, and his first year coaching when I was SE was the year his team was so small so I wasn't even around to see the years he won all of the awards he did. Fundamentally, that team was one of the soundest I've ever seen, they just were a foot smaller at every position than their opponents so it made for a difficult season.

Clark still teaches at Sebring so he doesn't need a job in the building if there are layoffs at WB. He is absolutely the most qualified guy for this spot, and he's right there for the taking. He's not a guy who would use the spot as a stepping stone to another school. He would be a great long term solution to the West Branch basketball program.

bj
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Old 04-15-12, 05:38 PM
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If I remember correctly, Clark began the Carrollton Youth Tourney, which I attended a few times. He also began some travel teams, which helped Carrollton in the long run.

At Sebring, he won the first District title in ten years, then won three more after that. I also recall a trip to Columbus in 2005, a trip the Trojans hadn't made since 1973. There were also three Tri-County League Championships in that span. Remember, his first year, he began the season with one letter winner from the previous year.

As far as building a youth program, I recall a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade program in place. There was also a full summer schedule for junior high, JV, and varsity.

If the WB BOE were smart, they'd be on Clark's front porch tomorrow. You may also get his father, a long time assistant, whom would bring a wealth of knowledge.

Just my opinion.
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Old 04-15-12, 05:59 PM
Thaddeus Thaddeus is offline
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Hancock never should've been hired from day one. He flat out is not qualified to be a head coach. That was 3 wasted years. I'm sure kids who didn't go out this year will reconsider for next season.
Not sure what the school is capable of getting if there is a financial concern within the district. Definitely need to go outside the halls of WB tho.
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Old 04-15-12, 06:07 PM
TROJANMAN72 TROJANMAN72 is offline
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The removal of Clark for Steve Beshera was an absolute joke, Clark did have some down seasons, but he had his classes comming. Now look what happened in Sebring since he was let go, Beshera bailed for Rootstown (hilarous, wont ever win anything). Again i hope Clark gets the job and builds a dynasty!

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Old 04-17-12, 12:48 PM
westbranchfan westbranchfan is offline
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While Brian Clark would be a good hire... definitely something needs to be done to change and progress the basketball program at WB.

Always thought that if the position came open that Walt DeShields may switch from the girls to boys. He has done a good job with the girls... but would he be willing to leave the talent that the Lady Warriors have in the coming years to coach the boys side?

I wouldn't mind Clark coming in either... i guess we will see what small town politics does with this hire. Go Warriors and hopefully we get a good coach. And John Hancock has and will always be a Warrior.... hope he is able to stick around the program.
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Old 04-17-12, 04:15 PM
West Branch West Branch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-coach View Post
This situation is a good example of a brain-dead school board. West Branch is laying off 13 teachers. How are they going to lure a qualified coach to the school system without a teaching job. Impossible to create a position in the school when they have good 1st and 2nd year teachers they have to let go.
Brian Clark, as many forget, hasn't won when you're talking about program building. He won at a school where Coach Brook built a great program that he took over. He won 2 or three games at Carrollton when he was there. If firing John to hire Brian was the plan it wasn't a good one.
John was in the process building a program! He put in the time and work at the lower levels and no one cares more about the program and the kids then him. Was John the best bench coach or the most knowledgeable x and o guy? Maybe not but he was working on that and had a good staff to help him with that.
This is what is truely amazing about how much John cares about the kids and the program, I heard he is still doing all the spring and summer stuff until they hire a new coach. John is a West Branch Warrior and this was a VERY BAD DECISION!
The truth is that West Branch 1st and 2nd year teachers have had to renew their contracts for at least 20 years or more, this has been recently publisized like it is something new. Although it may be possible that a couple will be non-renewed. With that in mind, getting a Brian Clark who is in our own backyard and already has a teaching job at Sebring might be the best fit for our Warriors.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:45 AM
warfish warfish is offline
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First of all I would like to wish John Hancock the best. No one that knows him will deny that fact that he is a great guy and a devoted West Branch person who would do anything for the school or community. Next, a lot of us would like to know the connection between Lisko and Clark. For 10 or 12 years we have had to read articles about how great Clark is in the Salem News and how he walks on water. Don't get me wrong, I think he is a good coach and has accomplished more than most in his coaching career and would probably do a nice job at WB given the chance. But why bad mouth other coaches in your quest for him to get the job. What did coach Hart ever do to you besides be successful. And I notice you never mention Clark's career at Carrollton where he went like 0-42 before Rick Brooke hooked him up at Sebring. If he gets the chance at WB, it will be interesting to see how he does with very, very, average talent at a school not known for its basketball tradition.
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Old 04-18-12, 10:02 AM
warriors378 warriors378 is offline
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I've had to deal with some AAU stuff this past weekend, so I didn't hear the news about this until yesterday morning. I have to be honest, I was shocked.

The reason I was shocked was because even though his record was 19-44 since he got head coaching job, they've improved each year. It's one thing to say that a coach has the talent there, and they don't produce. It's a whole another thing when the talent isn't really there, and they kind of overachieve.

I felt like WB overachieved this year. They never got blown out in any games except for at Alliance. However, if you add our home and away loss margins to Alliance, we had the smallest margin of loss to Alliance in the NBC.

Hancock deserves to keep this program going; however, sometimes things in life aren't fair. I hope that whoever becomes the head coach, is willing to keep Hancock on staff. I'll take Hancock over Falasca any day.

I was talking with a couple friends of mine that I graduated at WB with a few years ago. One of them played in the basketball program. The two he mentioned was Clark and Leone. Leone is on the current staff and teaches at Marlington currently, so wouldn't need to worry about teaching position there.


In my opinion, this would be my list in no order

Clark
Leone
Muckleroy
King
some others when I think more about this


Last thing I'll say, it's one thing to fire a coach due to performance. But it was a young team, and they were turning the corner. With a new coach and potentially new coaching staff, you make next year's progress from the previous season BACKWARDS a few steps. This is not what we needed. I would of given Hancock 1 or 2 more years. Stability is always the number one factor in building a good program. WB boys program has yet to have that. Almost did, but now back to step one I guess...
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Old 04-18-12, 10:06 AM
warriors378 warriors378 is offline
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Also, to all the WB fans that may bash me saying it's like football. NO IT'S NOT...Altenhof was losing control of the team and the program as we were getting worse each year...This is different...Hancock was rebuilding what Falacsa didn't want to stick around and develop...was getting better each year...and usually a program turns around in that 2nd to 3rd or 3rd to 4th year...I was feeling it this offseason...was excited to watch ALL the winter sports at WB next year when I'm available...too bad...back to the beginning again...
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Old 04-18-12, 12:36 PM
allaroundsports allaroundsports is offline
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<<<What did coach Hart ever do to you besides be successful.>>> (quote)

Just a point...
Hart hasn't been successful at Salem.
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Old 04-18-12, 01:08 PM
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Your right, he hasn't. but he was at Minerva and that's why he got a chance. Maybe Clark not getting a chance had nothing to do with his coaching ability but other factors.... I'm just sayin...................
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Old 04-18-12, 07:56 PM
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Muckleroy is at Canfield and interviewed for the job when it opened last time. Not enough $ for him to leave Streetsboro. Then he took Canfield job when it opened. Leone was on Hancock's staff and from my understanding doesn't want to be a head coach again. Tim King is at Reserve and Tom King doesn't coach anymore. It appears that Clark will get the job because he has the best resume and WB won't have to hire him as a teacher because he teaches at Sebring. I would guess it is just when the board of education gets around to hiring him. Interesting situation.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:51 PM
goshengophers goshengophers is offline
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I'm still trying to get my head around the post that used the phrases "West Branch" and "basketball power" in the same sentence.
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Old 04-19-12, 03:30 AM
onthediamond onthediamond is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allaroundsports View Post
<<<What did coach Hart ever do to you besides be successful.>>> (quote)

Just a point...
Hart hasn't been successful at Salem.

I guess that depends on which parents are weighing in ............. just like always.
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Old 04-19-12, 10:30 AM
allaroundsports allaroundsports is offline
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Onthediamond
I will read your reasons for why he has been successful at Salem. I'm always open to others' opinions - but hoping you can give facts to support...
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Old 04-19-12, 11:55 AM
IRISHBUCK IRISHBUCK is offline
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I can say this Coach Hart has taken two potentially 14-15 win teams and turned them into mediocre at best.Talent has been at Salem last two years and upcoming year has potential.We will see
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Old 04-21-12, 09:06 PM
snsports snsports is offline
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Rich Hart

I have never had a cross thing to say about Rich Hart. Not in the past, not now. Just because I support a coach for a position doesn't mean I don't value anyone else. I have no clue where the insinuation comes from that I was ever against Rich Hart. In fact, during the hiring process for Hart he was one of our top four candidates out of some 30 applicants. It was written plain as day on the front page of our paper and I was one of the first people to congratulate him and do a feature and a column supporting him after he got the job.

As I stated before, I knew nothing of Brian Clark until I became sports editor some seven years ago (not 10 or 12), one season after Clark lost a very talented class of kids and came back with a group who didn't fill up the bike rack let alone parking lot. I respect the guy. I've never seen a basketball coach do so much with so little like he did in those first few years I saw his Sebring teams up close. He's a great fundamental coach. I am a huge fan of coaches who don't only rely on a fast break offense. Anyone that runs a lot of sets, plays hard defense and controls a game's tempo, I'm a big fan of, because in my opinion it's better basketball. Tim King at Western Reserve is another coach I love watching because they actually run plays. They aren't just running and gunning all game.

Hart's team is going to be good next season. This past year they lost at least a half dozen games (and honestly I think it was much closer to 10) by single digits. They beat the Boardman district top-seed Struthers in the regular season, and could have easily been well over .500. Next season they get everyone back but Trent Kenreigh. Salem is going to be much, much better in Hart's third year.

There's no secret conspiracy here between the Salem News and Clark. He's a good coach and certainly in my opinion the best option for West Branch. I think he would've been good fit for Salem, too, obviously by what I said around the time Salem was hiring, but I really think Hart is going to do well this coming year.

I wish nothing but the best for both programs. They're our top two schools in terms of coverage, and we love to see them both be successful in all sports.

B.J.
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Old 04-21-12, 09:16 PM
snsports snsports is offline
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Just to be clear, I don't post under any other alias on here. It's "snsports" as in Salem News Sports and this is the sports editor, B.J. Lisko.

I want to know who I've ever bad-mouthed that's a high school coach? Wherever you are hearing that from warfish, it's inaccurate.

B.J.
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Old 04-26-12, 06:32 PM
goshengophers goshengophers is offline
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Any news on this?
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Old 04-27-12, 07:09 PM
goshengophers goshengophers is offline
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Though, I do take issue with B.J.'s assertion that Clark is the hands down best candidate when we don't know who all the candidates are. And did I see today that W.B. extended the period in which they are accepting applications. That tells me they have a very underwhelming pool of candidates thus far.
Again, unless they put together a package similar to what they offered D.J. Dota they are not likely to get a quality candidate.

Last edited by 111411; 04-27-12 at 08:09 PM..
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Old 05-03-12, 05:09 PM
snsports snsports is offline
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Article up

West Branch released the applicant pool.

http://salemnews.net/page/content.de....html?nav=5009
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