Darby names boys, girls coaches
An assistant taking his first head coaching position and a successful coach from the Northwest District have been selected to lead the boys and girls basketball programs at Hilliard Darby High School.
Mark Hess, an assistant to Greg Nossaman at Olentangy Liberty and Willard, will lead the boys program.
Former Ohio State women's basketball player Jodi (Roth) Korbas has coached girls basketball at Shelby the past 10 seasons and will take the same post with the Panthers.
Hess replaces Jim Van Winkle, whose contract was not renewed after one season as interim coach.
"Everything about (the position) excites me, but the opportunity to be a head coach is the most exciting thing," said Hess, who will teach math at Darby. "To get the opportunity to go to a school like Hilliard Darby is great because it's a good school in a good community. It's exciting to have the opportunity to be the face of a program as well as the whole process of working with young kids and teaching the game."
Hess had been a varsity assistant at Liberty for four seasons and the freshman coach for one season at Willard. He played high school basketball at Ashland and played in college at Mount Vernon Nazarene.
"The thing about having a coach like Mark is that you know that you are going to lose them (to a head coaching position)," Nossaman said. "He has tremendous energy and a great passion for the game. If you have that passion, it gets you through the tough days ... it helps you with the ups and downs. He's a good math teacher and he's a good teacher of the game of basketball."
The Panthers finished 6-15 overall last season after losing to Worthington Kilbourne 59-43 in the opening round of the Division I district tournament. They finished seventh (3-11) in the OCC-Central Division, behind Upper Arlington (12-2), Dublin Coffman (9-5), Thomas Worthington (9-5), Kilbourne (8-6), Westland (8-6) and Davidson (7-7) and ahead of Central Crossing (0-14).
"We really are going to be based (game-plan wise) on what we've got on the roster, but for the last three years at Liberty we had a 'Princeton' offense," Hess said. "It teaches the kids to recognize defenses and then react to how the defense plays."
Korbas found success at Shelby as a player and coach. She led the Whippets to the Class AAA state title in her senior season in 1983 with a 71-69 win over Barberton in the championship game. She then played for Ohio State from 1984-87.
As a coach, she went 145-75 in 10 seasons leading the Shelby girls program, winning four Northern Ohio League titles. Last year, the Whippets finished 21-2, losing to Clyde 80-63 in a Division II district final.
"It's a great opportunity to teach in my certification area and in a school district with a great state report card," said Korbas, who will teach business.
"I taught for 25 years at Mansfield Senior and coached at Shelby, so it will be nice to be coaching in the school I teach."
Korbas replaces Liz Van Winkle, who resigned after three seasons.
The Panthers finished 8-14 overall last season after losing to ninth-seeded Watterson 51-33 in the second round of the Division I district tournament. Darby was 4-10 in the OCC-Central, finishing sixth behind Coffman (13-1), UA (12-2), Central Crossing (11-3), Davidson (7-7) and Thomas (6-8) and ahead of Westland (2-12) and Kilbourne (1-13).
"We're just getting some practices together and getting some of our offense and defense in," Korbas said. "I like what I see. The girls have been working hard and they hustle a lot. I see a lot of potential and we could have a successful season."