Like many assistant coaches, Mike Moler had aspirations of leading a high school basketball program someday.
That day has arrived.
After having served the past seven seasons as an assistant with the Dublin Scioto boys team, Moler has been tabbed to replace the only head coach the Irish have had since the school opened in 1995, Tony Bisutti.
Bisutti, who resigned in April, guided Scioto to a 270-136 record, six OCC championships and two Division I district titles in 18 seasons.
Moler's hiring was expected to be approved by the school board June 10.
"It was really about being in the right place at the right time for me," he said. "I've had the pleasure of working under Tony and I feel like we can hit the ground running. There will be some things that will change, but I think one of the positives is that the consistency will be there."
A 1998 Ready graduate, Moler played at Muskingum University, where he earned four letters and was named all-Ohio Athletic Conference three times. He left as the program's seventh all-time leading scorer with 1,368 points and was voted the team's Most Valuable Player by his teammates as a sophomore and senior.
His coach at Muskingum was Jim Burson, who compiled a 542-416 record in 38 seasons with the Muskies and was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Moler began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the men's team at Kenyon College in the 2003-04 season. He served the next two seasons as the head junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach for the Ready boys program before joining Bisutti's coaching staff prior to the 2006-07 season.
"Mike Moler has played for and coached with some of the most respected coaches in the state of Ohio," athletics director Nick Magistrale said. "A few of the qualities I admire most about coach Moler include his high energy level when working with players, his exuberance for teaching and coaching young people and his commitment to the Scioto basketball program."
Moler, who had been overseeing Scioto's offseason workouts after Bisutti stepped down, takes over a team that must replace six players who were lost to graduation. This past season, the Irish finished 18-5 overall, went 11-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to place second to Westerville North (14-0) and lost to Pickerington Central 59-57 in overtime in the second round of the district tournament.
Among the players who graduated were guards Josh Ashwill and Antonio Bisutti, Tony's son.
Last season, Ashwill averaged 17.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and four assists and was named second-team all-district and first-team all-league, and Bisutti averaged 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and four assists and was honorable mention all-district and first-team all-league.
Post player Zac Brown and guard Kalib Wallace are expected to take on bigger roles next season after earning significant playing time off the bench last winter.
"We've been through this before in having a young team," Moler said. "The guys have spent some time in the system and know it, but they lack the experience. I want to see guys playing with a lot of energy. It's really important right now that if you're playing young guys to let them enjoy the game."