After having 24 hours to process the resignations of two well-known boys' basketball coaches, West York athletic director Frank Hawkins and York Suburban AD Chris Adams must now look to the future.
Bill Ackerman, who coached the Bulldogs for 18 years, notified the school administration and his team on Tuesday that he was resigning, citing family reasons.
"The development of our student-athletes was key (to him)," Hawkins said about Ackerman. "One of the key things that I saw (that) he developed was a leadership training class in the offseason ... and out of that, we've seen some of our student-athletes develop into young men who are very positive and successful in the community today."
For Adams, he was notified earlier this month of Dustin Boeckel's decision to resign after four years leading the Trojans, but it wasn't until Monday night that his resignation was accepted by the school board.
In an emailed statement, Adams said: "We are very appreciative and thankful for the time he put into the program. He was actively involved at all levels and supported all athletic programs. He really enjoys basketball and working with students."
For both ADs, the next step is to fill the holes left behind by both men and do it in a timely, but thorough, fashion.
Fortunately for Hawkins and West York, Ackerman informed the school that he would stay on and continue to guide the program into its offseason training program until his replacement is hired. That will allow Hawkins and the administration more time to thoroughly vet any applicants and put them through the necessary interviews before finding the right fit.
For now, Hawkins will take the rest of this week to digest Ackerman's decision and make sure everything is in line for next week, when the school will officially open up the position and begin accepting applications.
"Obviously, we want to get that (new) person in as soon as possible," Hawkins said. "But, also, making sure we dot our I's and cross our T's. We don't want to rush the process and do want to make sure we interview as many candidates as we can and make sure we basically filter through and get the right person for the position."
Meanwhile, the motion to hire a new head basketball coach at Suburban does have a much more set deadline, which is the April 18 school board meeting, according to Adams. The school will keep the current position open for applications until April 1, and then Adams and the administration will narrow down the applicants to several that they deem qualified and bring them in for a first interview. After the first interview, Adams and the rest of the interviewing committee will trim the applicants down to two or three finalists, who will be brought back for a second, more intensive interview. The committee members hope to have a candidate to take to the board for the April 18 meeting.
However, if necessary, Adams did say the committee would be willing to push the process back a month to May. But Adams would like to have a new coach in place before students leave for summer vacation so the new coach can meet the players and get them into any offseason training regimen.
While the process to hire a new Suburban coach may seem accelerated, Adams said it's the same timeline that he and the school employ when they look to fill any coaching vacancy.
"We typically look at a month-long process," Adams said. "So, I wouldn't say that we have a real sense of urgency to rush the process, because I don't think we' ll rush it, but if we can find the right person and get them on board by the 18th, that would be great. If we have to wait until May, we'll absolutely do that."
Hawkins said he hopes the next West York coach is someone who can carry on the legacy that Ackerman developed. That means, a person who will continue to make leaders out of the players and develop them both in basketball and academics.
For Adams, he's looking for the next Trojans coach to be someone, hopefully, with prior head coaching experience at the varsity level, as well as someone who will invest time into the youth programs, something that Boeckel took pride in doing.
The only other York-Adams League boys' basketball coaching vacancy is at York High. After 10 highly successful years, Troy Sowers resigned as the Bearcats' coach shortly after the season. New York High AD Ronald Coursey said last week that the school was just starting the process of finding Sowers' replacement.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.