When Greg Watson was named Crestview High School’s boys basketball coach last week, he became the team's third coach in less than a year.
Watson replaces Ken Meisner, who coached the team last season. Meisner replaced Keith White, who had coached the Bulldogs three or four years before resigning last July to take Walton High School’s football defensive coordinator job.
There has been a lot of turnover in Crestview High School’s coaching ranks in recent years.
If memory serves me correctly, track and field coach Ernie Martin and baseball coach Tim Gillis are the only two Crestview head coaches who have been on the job more than five years. Tennis coach Ben Kimbrough might be a third coach that has been on the job that long.
Honestly, I've lost track of the number of softball, volleyball, girls basketball and boys basketball coaches who have called the shots for the Bulldogs in the 13 years I've been in the area.
Even Crestview’s wrestling team has been through four or five coaches in as many years.
Some coaching changes are a matter of economics: when a coach takes a higher-paying job somewhere else or county budgets force the elimination of certain positions. Those are the cold, hard facts of the world we live in today.
Other coaches leave because of pressure from parents or simply because they aren't a good fit for the program.
Some coaches just want to coach at their alma mater.
Indications suggest the coaching carousel could be ending at Crestview High.
Tim Hatten — named head football coach and athletic director in March — has a reputation of being a coach not in search of the next big gig.
Watson said he plans on being at Crestview for a while; that's good news for the Bulldog basketball team.
Andrew Black — who just finished his first year as the Bulldog wrestling coach — is a former CHS athlete, which speaks of being here for the long haul.
Kathy Combest enters her third year as Crestview’s volleyball coach and her second season as the girls basketball coach. She also coached the softball team last year, when former football coach Kevin Pettis resigned to take a job at Sebastian River. It is unclear if Combest will be in the Bulldog dugout next spring.
With each coaching change, the athletes suffer the most.
They must learn a new playbook and figure out the personality of the newest coach in charge.
Yes, change is a part of life, but I don't think it's too much to ask that student-athletes have some stability as far as their coaches.
After all, everyone's more comfortable and seems to perform better when surrounded by familiar faces.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.