North fires Stobaugh

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AD Yanke cites 'overall direction of program'

By Brad Stephens

North Oldham will have its fourth different boys basketball coach in six years on the Mustang sidelines next fall.

North fired coach Chris Stobaugh after two years Friday, one day after the Mustangs’ 2013-14 season ended with a district tournament loss to Oldham County.

Athletic director Alan Yanke said off-court issues rather than on-court performance were the reason for the change.

“There were a lot of different factors we were looking at,” Yanke said. “The overall direction of the program, we felt there needed to be a change.

“...It had nothing to do with wins and losses at all. Just the total expectations at North Oldham were not met.”

Yanke declined to comment further on the record about the specific expectations that weren’t met.

He said the school will begin a search for a new coach immediately so that the school can have someone in place to set a summer practice schedule and get ready for next season.

“We’re looking for somebody that is student-centered,” Yanke said, “that wants to really help the students improve academically and athletically and we’re looking for somebody that is a good communicator between students and coach and parents and coach, as well.”

Stobaugh had a 29-28 record in two seasons at the helm of the Mustangs, including an 11-17 mark this season. He’d been the team’s JV coach in previous years before taking over for the 2012-13 season.

“Our policy of not discussing playing time or strategy with parents was applauded before the season and then wasn’t acceptable at the end of the season,” Stobaugh said.

He declined to comment further on the record about issues that led to his firing, including problems between himself and players’ parents.

Justin Cundiff and Adam Klingeman, two of the team’s graduating seniors, said they were both saddened and surprised by the school’s decision to fire Stobaugh.

Cundiff said he liked how Stobaugh dealt with parents that were unhappy about the team’s direction.

“It would minimize input parents would put on him,” Cundiff said. “If a parent came to him and said, ‘My son deserves more playing time,’ he wouldn’t play them more just because a parent came in. If their son deserved more playing time, he would give it to him.”

Klingeman said parental involvement could be one of the reasons North has had trouble maintaining stability in its boys basketball program.

“Where we live, all the parents want to be involved as much as they can,” Klingeman said. “I don’t know if coaches like that.”

Stobaugh said he’ll look for another coaching job in Kentucky. He was head coach at DeSales  in 2006, while he was still an undergrad at the University of Louisville. Stobaugh led the Colts to the Region 6 championship game that season.

He then went back to U of L to get his masters degree in education and worked as an assistant coach at Male before coming to North. Stobaugh, 31, is a special needs teacher at North Oldham Middle School.

“I will coach again,” he said. “It just has to be a positive situation where everyone is on board.”

As for North, Cundiff said the school made a mistake by firing Stobaugh.

“I would assume they’d give him more years to prove himself as the great coach that he is,” Cundiff said. “I think they might regret firing him.”