WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — The recommendation of Jason Mongold as the next head girls varsity basketball coach was removed from the agenda at Monday’s Washington Court House City School District Board of Education meeting.
The district’s board agenda sent out Friday included the recommendation of Mongold as the interim girls varsity basketball coach for the 2023-24 season. Early in the meeting Monday, WCHCS Superintendent Dr. Tom Bailey recommended the deletion of this recommendation, and the board approved the deletion.
Mongold is currently a part-owner of Champions Grill and the Greens Golf Course of Fayette County.
During the public participation section of the board meeting, a high school student, two parents, and a former colleague shared their support for Mongold.
Ellie Racine, a freshman at Washington High School, was the first to speak.
“Jason has been my coach since the third grade. He has definitely impacted my life very greatly and made me the player I am today. He stepped into my life when my dad walked out and he took on a role that he didn’t necessarily have to. He cares about the players off the court, not only on the court, so he is a very good coach in that regard. It’s not just about winning with him, and although he does care about that he also cares about you off the court, which is very important for a coach. On paper, it doesn’t make sense why he is trying so hard for the job, but he cares about us and he promised us that he was going to do whatever it takes to get the job and he’s a man of his word. He’s an awesome guy and I’m very proud to be playing for him and to be supporting him.”
Stephanie Smith spoke next about Mongold.
“Jason came into my daughter’s life in the third grade as a coach. He is an amazing coach. Like Ellie said, he cares about the players. He does whatever he can to support them. My daughter was very shy when it came to basketball. He brought her out of her shell. He’s made her what she is today. I believe that Jason needs to be and should be the basketball coach. He deserves it. He cares about all of the kids and I think that is the way it should be. As a coach, you need to care about your players on the court as well as off the court.”
Shawn Walker was the next to show support for Mongold.
“I’m one of the founders of the Little Lady Lions basketball program with Tony Jenkins and Greg Tillis and we’ve had that for several years. Jason joined our organization, helped work with the youth, helped run all the youth camps, helped with children that could not or did not have bags or tennis shoes. We would go behind the scenes and buy those for them. We did things in the off-season for families that couldn’t afford Christmas, and Jason was a big part of that. He ran our concessions and helped us organize, We had 16 teams at one time and he helped organize all of our practices. He started an organization called Crush which is an AAU program. Most organizations charge anywhere from $600-800 a child to play and these kids play for free.”
He finished, “As far as putting an organization together, I think he’s a good man, and he’ll help build the program. The numbers are down and it’s obvious. I know when my daughter was a freshman, we had a freshman team, a reserve team, and a varsity team, and it needs to be back to that. We need somebody in there that’s going to go talk to the youth, encourage them to play, and be there for them when times are down. I’m not saying they have to be their second parent, but just an encouraging person. I also think that discipline definitely needs to be restored.”
Deborah Hughes was the last to speak on Mongold’s behalf.
“One of the biggest influences for us to move this direction from Circleville was Jason. My daughter plays basketball for Circleville and she’s played basketball since she was in the fourth or fifth grade. She came to Jason from a really not so great situation with a coach who kind of made her want to give up. She didn’t feel like she was really worthy of playing. Jason just kind of took her under under his wing and encouraged her and she regained her confidence. That next year, she came back as one of the most valuable players for the Circleville Tigers. She’s a strong athlete and she she works well with with Jason. He’s so encouraging, and I’ve seen it not just with my daughter, but so many of these other girls. He’s is a good strong influence and that’s very important for young women to see strong men and how they treat young women well, or how they treat their own spouses well. That’s very important for young women nowadays especially, to see how men are supposed to behave. One of the biggest reasons why we’re here is because of Jason and the Mongold family. I really think he’s a strong candidate for this position.”
Another spectator asked why the recommendation was being deleted from the agenda and Bailey stated that it was his decision. Bailey declined to comment as to why that decision was made.
The school board did approve the hiring of Olivia Wayne as the new head varsity girls tennis coach, Tara Bivens as the head cheer coach for fall and winter, Matt Pfeifer as the head middle school football coach, Alan Grigsby as the head cross country coach, Brandon Ellars as the head girls soccer coach, Shannon Bartruff as the head boys golf coach, Kyle Maust as the head girls golf coach, and Ashley DeAtley as the head volleyball coach, along with several assistant coaches for multiple sports.
Look for more coverage of Monday’s board meeting on the Record-Herald website: www.recordherald.com
The next regularly scheduled WCHCS board meeting is set for Monday, June 12 at 7 p.m. in the district office.