It took more than six weeks to decide and a second round of interviews by a restructured selection committee to make the decision, but Scott High School has named a new boys varsity basketball coach.
Richard "Dick" Heath, 52, whose last head coaching post was at Lima Senior High School (1996-2001) was picked by Scott's eight-member athletic committee yesterday. The recommendation has been received by City League commissioner Ed Scrutchins, and the hiring is subject to approval by the Toledo Public Schools' board of education.
"The job has been offered and I have accepted," Heath said last night. "The program has a great tradition and Scott has won a lot of basketball games. This job was a major attraction, and that's why we pursued it."
The job opened when prior Bulldog head coach Earl Morris resigned after posting a six-year record of 90-39. Morris had succeeded Ohio Hall of Fame coach Ben Williams, who was 429-120 over 24 seasons at Scott (1974-1998) with 12 City League championships and five appearances in the state semifinals, including a Division I state title in 1990.
"I'm only one of eight on the committee but, speaking for the committee, we felt that Dick had a history of winning programs everywhere he's been a head coach," Scott athletic director Jim Huss said. "He's a very organized and motivated individual, and the committee feels he is the right person to carry on the winning tradition of Scott basketball."
If approved, the Scott job will be Heath's eighth as a head coach, all at Ohio high schools, with an overall 22-year record of 310-191. He previously guided teams at Mendon-Union (8-13 record), Washington Court House (8-13), Sparta Highland (31-13), New Washington Buckeye Central (109-49), Ashtabula Edgewood (41-35) and Kent Roosevelt (35-31) before leading Lima Senior to a 78-37 mark over five seasons.
He led Buckeye Central to two regional appearances, and guided Lima Senior to the Division I regionals in 2000 and in 2001. His Spartans beat Scott in the 2001 district finals.
"I have always believed that the defensive end of the floor is pretty important, and you start
there," Heath said. "My teams have always played very hard and have been fundamentally sound. There are a lot of good, basketball-playing athletes at Scott with a hunger and desire to win. We want to round 'em up and get 'em in the gym."
The 1970 Bellefontaine High School graduate received his undergraduate degree from Urbana College in 1974 and his masters from the University of Findlay in 2002.
Heath's teaching specialty is comprehensive social studies, and he is also certified in administration. A TPS teaching position has yet to be secured for Heath, who indicated that will be an essential factor in his relocation from Lima.
At Lima Senior, where he coached current University of Toledo player Sammy Villegas, Heath was viewed as a strong supporter of his players, and for helping them improve their academic performance.
"I've always felt kids need to get an education and that they need to prioritize that," Heath said.
"If they don't do that, they can't play. We placed a strong emphasis on the academic side and have worked hard to get kids post [high school] educational opportunities."
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