MEDINA — Medina didn’t have to look far to find its next boys basketball coach.
Bees athletic director Jeff Harrison wasted no time replacing Anthony Stacey, as he offered the post to former girls basketball coach Chris Hassinger on Thursday, just 14 days after Stacey resigned.
Hassinger, a lifelong Wadsworth resident, is a physical education teacher at Medina High. Pending school board approval, he will be the program’s 17th coach since the Ohio High School Athletic Association began sponsoring the sport in 1922. More than 70 people applied for the job, Harrison said.
“I’m so excited,” Hassinger said. “It feels really good to be back. It’s a dream job, you know?
“I just feel real honored to have the opportunity. I really do. Not many guys can say they have needed 20 years of experience to get their first boys job, so I feel really prepared and ready for it.”
The 42-year-old Hassinger compiled a 63-26 record from 2009-13 and won Northeast Ohio Conference River Division championships in each of his final three seasons. Dev King (GeorgetownCollege), Angela Tesny (Ohio Northern) and Erin Pacholski (Heidelberg) went on to play collegiately, while Taylor Burke turned down multiple basketball offers to compete in soccer and track and field at Florida.
Hassinger resigned to coach his children in AAU and spent this season as an assistant — his 20th as a coach overall — under Wadsworth boys coach Mike Schmeltzer Jr.
At the time of his resignation, Hassinger did not rule out a return to the bench if the right scenario arose. The opportunity presented itself when Stacey left for Sandusky after compiling a 41-33 record and reaching the 2012 University of Akron Regional title game.
“When I heard Anthony left, this was one of the jobs I’d definitely come back for,” said Hassinger, who coached at various levels for the Medina boys under Keith Sooy and Jody Peters from 1995-2009. “I feel comfortable at Medina. It’s really easy to coach there, and I think we’ve got really good kids and really good players. You put that combination together and it’s a winning combination.”
The Bees are slated to return third-team All-Ohio combo guard Craig Randall and 6-foot-10 center Jon Teske. Both are expected to be high-end Division I college recruits. Teske, who started as a freshman, will be a junior, while Randall, who played his first two seasons at Girard, will be a senior.
Other underclassmen contributors to this season’s 19-win team included starting point guard Zach Bennett, sixth man Evan Schreck, defensive specialists Tyler King and Delontaye Morrow and up-and-coming guard Ben Geschke.
Hassinger said he will need to evaluate personnel before making a decision on what type of offense and defense the team will implement. The Medina girls had a full-court philosophy that was predicated on a physical man press and an inside-out game in the half court.
Assistant coaches have not been selected, either, though Hassinger expects that to be decided quickly.
“We’ve got really good kids,” he said. “I got a chance to watch them play last year and they played really, really hard. We have a lot of kids who just do their part, and most of them are not afraid to do the dirty work. Those are my type of players.
“We’re going to get in the gym and see what we’ve got. Our kids still have a sour taste in their mouths after losing in the (Copley D-I District) championship game. I know one thing’s for sure: We won’t ever overlook anybody.”
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.