The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Laudick resigns as boys hoops coach

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

After five seasons, Van Wert boys varsity basketball coach Ben Laudick has resigned his position.

The Van Wert City Schools Board of Education accepted his resignation during Wednesday night’s monthly meeting. Laudick, who was at the meeting, read a brief statement and thanked the board, coaches, players, his family and others for their support.

“I’ve been blessed to be a part of the Van Wert basketball program for 25 years as a player and/or coach,” Laudick told the board. “Some of my best memories have been in the Cougar Den and many other gyms across northwest Ohio. Not many people can say they got to coach or lead their favorite basketball team…it’s truly been a dream come true.”

Superintendent Mark Bagley updates the board on the second phase of work at Eggerss Stadium. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

Laudick replaced now-Superintendent Mark Bagley as head coach after the 2018-2019 season and went 58-60 in five seasons, including a trip to the Division II regional finals in 2023. The Cougars finished 4-19 this past season. A full story on Laudick’s resignation can be found on the Sports page.

The board also accepted the resignations of Jalen McCracken as a volunteer baseball coach; custodial/maintenance worker Tom Lee; middle school music teacher/assistant band director Scott Turner, and fourth grade teacher Traci McCoy. McCoy was then hired as district media specialist. The board also hired Sydney Collins as a second grade teacher, Karlie Ulm as a third grade teacher, Ryann Morehous as a fourth grade teacher, and Aaron Ries as assistant to the director of technology.

During his report to the board, Bagley gave an update on work at Eggerss Stadium and said Alexander and Bebout has started the second phase of the renovation project, including the removal of asphalt and the outer shell of the men’s restroom on the home side. He said there will be new restrooms installed along with a new concession stand, along with a new press box.

“The press box will be brand new and much bigger and then the landing area in the front – that’s going to be handicapped and elderly accessible from the elevator,” Bagley stated. “Instead of being shoved into the corners like they have for 86 years, they’re going to be front and center between the 40-yard lines.”

Bagley added that area will accommodate at least 50 people. He also said the completion date is scheduled for August 15, a day before the annual scrimmage against Crestview.

Treasurer Troy Bowersock told the board he’s still in the process of fine tuning the budget for Phase II of the massive renovation project, but said it appear work will remain in the range of $2.2 to $2.3 million.

Agenda items approved by the board included:

  • A full list of high school and middle school sports for the 2024-25 school year.
  • A satellite program standards and maintenance agreement with Vantage Career Center.
  • A College Credit Plus memorandum of understanding and data sharing agreement with Rhodes State College.
  • The 2025-2026 school calendar.

The board heard a lengthy presentation from Lori Bitnner, Diana Morrow and Shelly Place about PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) at the Early Childhood Center

Board members graciously accepted a long list of various donations from individuals, businesses and organizations and the board ended the meeting with an executive session to discuss the employment of personnel and to consider the purchase or sale of property. Outside of adjournment, no action was taken afterward.

The next scheduled meeting of the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education is 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in the First Federal Lecture Hall at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

POSTED: 03/28/24 at 3:38 am. FILED UNDER: News