Ryan Day has been named interim head coach of the Washington High School Blue Lion boys basketball team for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season.
Previously, Day served as the varsity Lady Lion basketball head coach from 2007 to 2009, as well as an assistant coach to Greg Phipps and Shannon Bartruff for seven years. Prior to coaching, Ryan Day played four years of collegiate basketball at Anderson University, leading the Ravens for two years as team captain.
Last week, it was announced that former head coach Connor Scott was placed on paid administrative leave. The school district did not specify reasons for the action.
Day, a history teacher, is in his 21st year in the classroom at Washington High School. He currently serves as the head varsity coach for cross country, a sport he has coached the Blue Lions and Lady Lions for the past 12 years.
In the coming days, Coach Day and the district will work together to determine the rest of the WHS coaching staff to join the Blue Lions on the court for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season.
At the conclusion of the season, Washington Court House City Schools will begin to accept applications for the head basketball position for the 2020-2021 season.
The Blue Lions are at home on Tuesday against Frontier Athletic Conference foe Hillsboro. The reserve game will begin at 6 p.m. with varsity following at 7:30 p.m.
The Record-Herald spoke with Washington High School Principal Tracy Rose, who had just spoken with the team moments before their after-school practice session began.
Rose said that former Blue Lion great Dustin Pfeifer will be helping Coach Day and they will be joined by Derek Shaw, who is currently coaching the Washington eighth grade team.
“It’s been a total team effort on our coaching staff to help out this last week,” Rose said. “Mr. (Mark) Bihl, Mr. (Corey) Dye and Mr. (Derek) Lyons who all coach or have coached, will be helping out on an as-needed basis.”
Rose spoke about the Blue Lions’ game Friday night at Greenfield against the always-tough McClain Tigers.
McClain got by Washington in that FAC game, 42-39 in overtime.
“I think it was a testament to the support that our community, our parents, Blue Lion Nation, has for these young men as they’re going through this tough time,” Rose said. “In the way they came out and supported them. I’m very proud of the young men for their work ethic. (It’s) a very tough situation for them and they have shown much resilience, a lot of character in the way they handled themselves.
“They have never stopped competing,” Rose said. “It was a very hard-fought game. Anytime you play McClain, no matter what their talent is, they always seem to play tough. It’s a basketball community.”
“To watch these young men every day of the week come in here and put forth the effort they do, to work as hard as they have, and stay the course as best they can, I’m very proud of them,” Rose said. “And that’s what I just told them.”