Town Crier News Staff
Buffalo Island School Board met for four hours Saturday night interviewing three coaching prospects to fill the position formerly held by Bill Taylor, boys' coach and athletic director.
BIC directors had formerly narrowed the field of 11 applicants to three. The prospective coaches were Matt McGowan of Paragould High School, Justin Yates of Annie Camp Junior High in Jonesboro and Dion Hargrove of Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. Each of the three candidates were allowed an hour to speak to the board.
Following a short executive session the board voted unanimously to offer a contract to Hargrove for the 2007-2008 school year. As of Monday no response had been received from Coach Hargrove.
Coach Hargrove has17 years of coaching experience junior and senior girls basketball, junior and senior boys basketball, and senior boys baseball. He is currently serving as head basketball coach at Hillcrest High School.
He has coached three different state basketball championship teams, with six state tournament appearances. Schools he has coached include Bradford, Des Arc, Viola, West Plans, Camdenton, and Springfield.
Other accomplishments include a 35 game basketball winning streak in 1998 and a 39 game baseball winning streak in 2000, with a record 364-145.
Coach Hargrove was named Basketball Conference Coach of the Year for nine separate years, Baseball Conference Coach of the Year four years, and East All Star Head Basketball Coach in 2002, after being nominated five different years.
"If I accept this position I plan to live in the district," Hargrove said. "I think my wife and three children would love this area. We are looking for a smaller school district to work and live in. I think a coach needs to be part of the community where he works, so people can get to know him."
Coach Taylor sat in on the interviews and had something positive to say about all three candidates. Following the board's selection, Taylor praised Hargrove for his outstanding accomplishments and talent.
"The new coach will need to be a leader and a visionary," Taylor said. "We have the best of everything here at BIC, and it is a great place to work and raise your family. Things are in place for a good program. We have a wide economic base here and the Mustang Club will help where needed.
"George Edd (Holland, superintendent) and the board provide the finances, and the coach has to provide a good program," Taylor said. "The important thing to remember is the school district consists of two towns - Monette and Leachville. They give up being separate towns the first day of the seventh grade, after that they are just BIC."
The board discussed filling the position of assistant boys' basketball coach. A vacancy has been left by the absence of Mark Hurst, who chose not to take the position again this year. Holland expressed the desire to fill the assistant coach position by a person already teaching at BIC, if possible, and if not then the board would look at hiring someone from outside the school.
In other business the board hired Bruce Fires as vocational agriculture instructor, Erin Clay as half time speech therapist (a position to be shared with Riverside School District) and Devin Cable for maintenance on the West Campus.
The board voted to accept the resignation of Melina Swetnam, impac lab manager on the East Campus.