Todd Minney, who led the Westerville Central High School boys basketball program since its inaugural 2003-04 season, will not return as coach following a year in which the Warhawks went 12-12 overall and 6-8 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.
Minney informed his players last weekend that he had resigned, according to athletics director Andy Ey, who made the announcement March 11.
"I have loved coaching at Central," Minney said. "I have had many great memories and built a lot of great relationships. At this time, I really want to focus on my family and enjoy them."
In 10 seasons under Minney, the Warhawks went 107-115. After going 18-67 in its first four seasons, Central was 89-48 over the past six.
The Warhawks won their lone league title in the 2007-08 season, finishing 9-1 in the OCC-Central. Minney was Coach of the Year in the league.
Central played in Division I district finals in 2010 and 2011, losing both times to Northland, 61-42 and 65-62, respectively.
"Todd was the head coach here for 10 years, so he saw us right from the beginning when we were really young and didn't have much of anything -- talent, numbers, bodies," Ey said. "He worked through some hard years during that time and then we started to get pretty good. We had several good years with him as our head coach."
Ey expects to post the position in early April and hopes to have a replacement by mid-May.
Central lost to 11th-seeded Westland 77-62 in the sec- ond round of the district tournament Feb. 27. The 24th-seeded Warhawks defeated 15th-seeded Thomas Worthington 43-42 in the first round Feb. 23.
The Warhawks finished fifth in the OCC-Cardinal behind Westerville North (14-0), Dublin Scioto (11-3), Westerville South (9-5) and Hilliard Darby (8-6) and ahead of Dublin Jerome (4-10), Worthington Kilbourne (4-10) and Hilliard Bradley (0-14).
Central should return a solid nucleus, led by junior wing player Eric James and junior point guard Jalen Malone.
"I believe we'll have a better team next year," James said before learning of Minney's resignation. "We'll have more experience than this year. Most of our starters are juniors."
James averaged a team-high 15.5 points and was first-team all-league and third-team all-district, while Malone averaged 11.8 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Other starters expected to return are juniors Jalen Talley (wing player) and Kwamel Wade (post player/wing player).
Wade averaged 8.9 points and led the team in rebounding at 5.0 per game. He was special mention all-league.
Post player Jack Birkhofer, who was one of five seniors, was honorable mention all-league.
"I'm proud," Minney said. "I have seniors that I love. They weren't always on the floor, but they really brought a lot of life and energy to practice. They showed true commitment to the program and it's always hard when you have to say goodbye to a class."
Other players who can return are juniors Tommy Mansfield (wing player), T.J. Purnell (guard) and Jeremiah Shaw (post player/wing player).
The Warhawks' season included defeating South for the first time in 14 meetings, 65-59 on Feb. 5 at South.
"I think we should have gone further in the tournament," James said. "We got better, especially after we beat South. We boxed out and rebounded that game."
The Warhawks lost at home against South 50-48 in overtime Jan. 4 and dropped both games against North, 79-58 on Dec. 21 at North and 66-57 on Feb. 1 at Central.
"Our goal is to at least win district next season," James said.