The Grandview Heights High School girls basketball program is expected to be led by a familiar face this winter.
Pending board approval, Michelle Chavanne, a 1993 Grandview graduate, will coach the Bobcats after serving as an assistant the past four seasons.
"I really enjoy coaching basketball, and I have played it all of my life," said Chavanne, who played at the University of Akron. "It's my first head-coaching position, and I knew that if I wanted to be a head coach, it would be at Grandview."
Chavanne will replace Randy Darst, who was with the program for one season. Her previous three seasons were under former coach Steve Hall. She also has been an assistant at Bexley and Marysville.
"Michelle has been a part of our girls staff for the last few years and a part of the community for a long time," athletics director Jim Hall said. "Her knowledge and experience of the game, Grandview Heights and our student-athletes made her our top choice. Her list of priorities on re-building the girls basketball program for Grandview Heights matched the school's goals and expectations.
"I believe Michelle will be able to provide a seamless and hopefully stressless transition for the returning team and incoming freshmen. We have high expectations for the future of Bobcats girls basketball at all levels."
Chavanne, a lawyer who also played volleyball and softball in high school, said being familiar with the athletes in the program will be a definite asset entering her first season as head coach.
"It helps to already know what you have," she said. "As a new coach, you have to evaluate your kids and it's good to have seen the players last year as well as the incoming freshmen. Hopefully, that will make for an easier transition."
Last season, the Bobcats finished 2-19 overall and lost to Heath 41-19 in the first round of the Division III district tournament. They went 2-12 in the MSL-Cardinal Division to place seventh, behind Liberty Union (14-0), Harvest Prep (9-5), West Jefferson (9-5), Licking Heights (8-6), Berne Union (7-7) and Fisher Catholic (7-7) and ahead of Millersport (0-14).
Grandview's roster last season was comprised of two juniors and nine freshmen. Sophomore post player Grace Palmer was named second-team all-league and sophomore point guard Megan McCauley was honorable mention all-league.
Also expected back are seniors Abby Riggs (forward) and Connor Skeen (post player) and sophomores Emma Bulla (guard), Mary Guida (forward), Emma Hecker (guard), Ali Lachey (guard/forward), Madison Osborne (guard), Morgan Taylor (forward) and Allison Voelker (guard/forward).
"Hopefully, all of the girls will come back from last year and we had a moderate group of eighth-graders last year, so that could help," Chavanne said. "We expect and hope for more than 11 (players), but every year every group is different, so we will have to see what we have. That's what will determine our style of play."