In the search for a new Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball coach, athletics director Kip Witchey realized the program didn't require dramatic change.

In the search for a new Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball coach, athletics director Kip Witchey realized the program didn't require dramatic change.

He needed a replacement for Todd Hardesty, who departed after last season's 15-6 overall finish. Hardesty led the Irish to five consecutive OCC championships, a Division I district championship and a 2007 regional final appearance in his eight seasons.

He found just a little bit of change in 36-year-old Matt Fisher.

"We really wanted to find someone who wouldn't be a rapid departure from what the girls had grown accustomed to," Witchey said. "He's definitely a player's coach and that's what Todd had been. We really didn't want to go in a 360-degree direction."

Fisher was approved by the board of education on June 14. He comes to Scioto with 15 years of coaching experience, spending five years each at Briggs (girls), Marion Catholic (boys) and New Lexington (boys).

He teaches physical education for Columbus City Schools.

"Dublin Scioto has a very rich basketball tradition with great support from the boosters and the community," Fisher said. "We have a very well-tenured coaching staff."

Fisher is a graduate of River Valley High School in Marion. He inherits a young team after a group of five seniors left the program with a record of 75-11.

Scioto season's ended with a 44-39 loss to Pickerington Central in the second round of the Division I tournament, a setback which kept them from reaching a district semifinal for the first time in 2003-2004. The Irish shared the OCC-Cardinal Division title with Olentangy at 11-3.

"My philosophy on basketball is to always keep the opponent guessing," Fisher said. "I want every team to have to take some time to scout us. This means changing up defensive and offensive sets often. I believe in running motion style offenses with a variety of defenses."

Hardesty's teams thrived on defense.

In the past eight years, Scioto went 142-42 and lost just eight league games in the last six seasons. In 2007, the Irish finished atop the state poll with an undefeated regular season (20-0) and Hardesty was honored as Coach of the Year by the state coaches association.

Fisher intends to keep that tradition going.

"We want to keep competing for OCC titles and district championships," he said. "But our main goal is to become a disciplined basketball program from elementary through the varsity level."