The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Apr. 12, 2024

Laudick resigns as boys hoops coach

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Family first. That’s what led to the decision by Ben Laudick to step down as boys varsity basketball coach at Van Wert. His resignation was accepted during Wednesday night’s meeting of the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education.

“My son (Drew) is going to be a senior next year,” Laudick said. “I had to miss some swim meets this year because of basketball and I want to be there for everything his senior year. Plus there are some other things all of my kids are doing that I want to make sure I can be there for those activities as well.”

Ben Laudick celebrates after the Cougars won the 2022-2023 district championship. Bob Barnes/file photo

Laudick added a recent family health concern played a role in his decision and he said he wants to pursue other options professionally in the education field.

“Being the head coach does not allow me the time to do that,” he said.

Laudick, who previously served as an assistant coach, took over for now-superintendent Mark Bagley after the 2018-2019 season. In five seasons, Laudick’s teams finished 58-60, including 4-19 (1-8 WBL) this past season. During the 2022-2023 season, Laudick guided Van Wert to a 19-8 record and to the Division II regional finals at Bowling Green State University, where the Cougars lost 53-37 to eventual state runner-up Rocky River Lutheran West.

He noted a win over Crestview in his first game as a varsity coach is among his most memorable moments, along with the entire tournament run during the 2022-2023 season, including his first tournament win over Elida, a buzzer-beating win over St. Marys Memorial in the district semifinals, a district championship win over Defiance and playing for a regional championship.

He also listed a buzzer beater over St. Henry during COVID-19 and his team running through the hallways celebrating, coaching two different 1,000 point scorers (Owen Treece and Aidan Pratt) and coaching each group of seniors as his other top memories.

Laudick also talked about what he’ll miss the most about coaching.

“It was all about building relationships with the guys on the team,” Laudick explained. “Each team was different, every player was different. I really enjoyed getting to know them and how to push them to be the best player they could be is probably what I will miss the most.”

Laudick is the third WBL boys basketball coach to step down. Bath head coach Kirk Looser and St. Marys Memorial head coach Dan Hegemier have resigned as well.

Van Wert High School Athletic Director Trent Temple said the varsity boys basketball job will be posted very soon.

POSTED: 03/28/24 at 3:36 am. FILED UNDER: Sports