OHSAA Expansion of Practice Time Led This Coach to Quit

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Copyright 2014 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
By Marc Pendleton

BEAVERCREEK - John Ahrns will resign as Beavercreek High School's boys varsity basketball coach following this season.

He confided to athletic director Jim Smerz last fall, citing a new Ohio High School Athletic Association ruling put into effect around that time.

"That makes it essentially a year-round sport," he said on Tuesday after telling his senior-laden team that he wouldn't be back next season. "This just increases everything. There are a lot of other things in life worthwhile that I would like to do."

Ahrns is a 1994 Beave-creek grad who played on Western Ohio League championship teams for then-coach Larry Holden. It was Holden who encouraged Ahrns to enter coaching at age 22.

Ahrns eventually succeeded Charlie Back as the Beavers head coach in the 2008-09 season. His first team was 3-18, the second 2-19.

Two seasons later, in 2011-12, Beavercreek went 18-5 and won the Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division title.

"We started at a low point and then built up and I'm really proud of where we're at," Ahrns said. "I'm still going to be Beavercreek's biggest supporter."

Beavercreek is 13-7 this season and a No. 3 seed in the upcoming Division I sectional tournament. The Beavers are 57-72 overall during Ahrns' five-plus seasons. However, in the last two-plus seasons they're 44-22.

The OHSAA's new ruling allowed many more coaching hours in the offseason for high school coaches. Groups of four players could be taught throughout the year, except for 30 days after the season and August.

Ahrns said to remain competitive, a varsity coach must be willing to spend a maximum amount of weekly hours instructing players as allowed by OHSAA rules.

He estimated the Beavers' coaching staff spent four or five days per week, three to four hours at a time, providing personal instruction.

"We did it knowing that everybody else was doing it," he said. "You gotta keep up in order to compete. As this was happening last fall, I lost two of the best friends that I ever had. It really helped me re-evaluate what my priorities are in life."

He hopes to continue coaching, just not as a varsity coach.

Contact this reporter at 937-225-2381 or email Marc.Pen [email protected] Twitter: @MarcPendleton


February 12, 2014




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