MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets are a few steps closer to having a new head football coach.
Wednesday, a special committee interviewed six finalists for the position.
“We’re preparing to turn the results of the interviews over to administration,” said Mount Vernon schools teaching and learning director Gary Chapman, who heads the committee.
The school started with 61 resumes submitted for the vacant head coaching position. From there, school administrators narrowed the list down to 15 semifinalists. Chapman and high school principal Kathy Kasler interviewed the semifinalists last week.
Six were recommended for second interviews, who visited with the committee on Wednesday.
Two of the finalists interviewed — Brian Gastin and Jerry Williams — are coaches within Mount Vernon.
The others include Ben Bethea, assistant coach at Clear Fork; Eric Brock, head coach at Newscomerstown; Lee Hurst, head coach at Hillsdale; and Anthony Naples, athletic director at Madison Plains Middle School.
Chapman says he would like to see a teaching position offered along with the head coaching job.
“We want to see the new coach working with the students on a daily basis,” Chapman said. “The ideal situation would be if we could follow through with that.”
Chapman says that decision will ultimately rest with administration.
The 10-person search committee consists of administrators, parents and students, including Chapman and Kasler, as well as representatives from the Touchdown Club and the Mount Vernon athletic boosters.
Chapman will turn the committee’s findings over to Mount Vernon City Schools Superintendant Steve Short early next week. Short will then either accept a recommendation, or schedule a third round of interviews. If there is a recommendation, Short can determine whether a teaching position should be recommended as well, according to Chapman.
The goal, says Chapman, is to get someone in the high school as soon as possible, to get a feel for the students.
“We are looking for a good to great teacher, who is also a good to great football coach,” Chapman said. “We want someone who will work one-on-one with the kids. That’s our goal.”
The school could have a recommendation in time for the school board meeting on March 14. Chapman says the goal is to have someone in place before the start of spring break, which runs from March 28 to April 1.