As it looks now, the Pioneer Valley Conference will be featuring at least two first-year high school varsity boys basketball coaches next season. Last Saturday, you may have read about Fort Frye's Dan Liedtke stepping down from the boys helm to focus exclusively on the Lady Cadet varsity team.
Well, on Tuesday, this sports editor has learned that Shenandoah High's Dan Schwieterman will also not be on the boys sideline next winter.
The 59-year-old Zeps boss actually submitted his resignation to the board on April 21.
"I talked to the superintendent then, and just told him that I would not be re-applying for the boys basketball head coaching job," said Schwieterman, who guided Shenandoah to 452 wins during his 34 years at the helm. This past season, the Zeps were 11-12 overall.
"I just feel it's time for a new direction for the basketball program," Schwieterman said. "I would still like to help out in some capacity, but just not as the head coach. It's time for some new blood and someone else to motivate the kids.
"I've really enjoyed working with the kids over the years, but last summer, I was disappointed in the turnout. We had six open gyms, and I didn't get to work with very many kids. It was frustrating."
Schwieterman said he would still retain his position as counselor at the elementary school.
A Hoosier native, Schwieterman attended Bryant High, where he graduated in 1969. From there, he enrolled at Ohio University, and received a bachelor's degree in education in 1976. Later, he got his masters degree from the University of Dayton.
Schwieterman did his student teaching at Belpre, where he was supervised by Mid-Ohio Valley Hall of Fame football coach Ralph Holder.
During the 1976-77 school year, Schwieterman began coaching basketball at Madison High, and when the school became part of the Buckeye Trail consolidation, he headed south a short distance, and got a job at Shenandoah High.
As the Shenandoah boys basketball boss, Schweiterman has helped the Zeps post five PVC championships, two Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (OVAC) titles, 11 sectional and two district crowns. In 1997, his team was runner-up to Joe Garrett-coached Belpre in the regional tournament.
"I've had a lot of good players, who have put in the time to be successful," Schwieterman said.
Early in his career, Schwieterman also coached cross country and baseball.
Back in 1990 or thereabouts, this scribe first met Schwieterman at the high school in Sarahsville, and was impressed with his sense of humor. That particular evening, the Zeps hosted the Garrett Powers-coached Waterford Wildcats, who at the time were enjoying what turned out to be a PVC banner season. One of the players on Waterford was a standout transfer from a prep school in the state of West Virginia by the name of J.R. Jordan, who had an immediate impact on the fortunes of the Wildcats that winter.
"Christmas must have come early for Waterford this year," quipped Schwieterman before the game.
Schwieterman has been honored as PVC Coach of the Year on five occasions, District 12 four times and and Eastern District twice. He's also received the Bob Arnzen Award and has served as District 12's State Director.
At the 2010 state tournament, he was selected by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association to receive the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award.
Schwieterman and his wife of 26 years - Shelly - have three children - Braun, Caleb and Renee.
"Shelly has always backed my decisions," said Schwieterman. "And, next year's team has a lot of good kids coming back."
Good-luck, coach. You'll be missed.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org