John Betz said assembling a coaching staff is like putting together a puzzle.
The Olentangy Berlin High School athletics director has been seeking individuals who are the right fit for the athletes, the school and the community.
He linked together four more pieces by announcing coaches last week for the boys basketball, girls basketball, field hockey and hockey programs.
Pending school board approval, Donovon Barrett (boys basketball), Megan Beidelman (girls basketball), Tim Pennington (hockey) and Maddie Goelz (field hockey) will join the Bears. The school opens in the fall.
“I think we have a good balance of youth and experience,” Betz said. “I think these individuals are the right fit for us to start their programs from scratch.”
Barrett coached at Westerville Central the last five seasons, going 52-66 overall and winning an OCC-Cardinal Division title in 2013-14. He was at Buckeye Valley for 14 seasons before that, compiling a 193-99 record and winning seven Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference titles.
“I was happy at Central and the administration and teaching staff were great and there are a lot of good character kids in the (boys basketball) program,” said Barrett, who will teach social studies at Berlin. “To go to Berlin, a lot of variables had to be just right. I go back some 25 years with John Betz, and Berlin (principal) Todd Spinner was my principal at Central for a while. It was a win-win situation.”
Betz is happy to bring in a longtime friend and colleague to start the boys basketball program.
“I know Donovon and trust him as a basketball coach, and I trust him more as an individual,” said Betz, who was best man in Barrett’s wedding. “It makes it easy as an AD when you can hire someone who knows his X’s and O’s and has done all of the right things.”
Beidelman, a 2012 graduate of Olentangy, played four seasons at Mount Vernon Nazarene. This winter, she was an assistant at East Knox.
“I talked to (former Olentangy girls basketball coach and current boys basketball coach) John Feasel about Megan and he gave her his seal of approval,” Betz said. “She’s young, but I think she has the qualities to build a program.”
Pennington was the first hockey coach at Orange. He had a 151-69-10-4 record in seven seasons from 2009-15, guiding the Pioneers to two league championships and one district title.
“When I called Tim, I asked him how he was doing, and he told me that after a few years off he was ready to get back into coaching,” Betz said. “That was the response I was hoping to get.
“Tim started the program at Orange, so I have the confidence of him being able to do that again and do it the right way. He was the first guy that I wanted to get.”
Goelz is a 2014 Thomas Worthington graduate who will graduate this spring from Wittenberg, where she played for four seasons.
“Maddie is young, but she played in college as well as at Thomas under Terri Simonetti Frost, who is one of the best coaches in the country,” Betz said. “She knows the game well and has a great passion to build our field hockey program.”
Other coaches hired by Berlin are Anthony Beggrow (boys cross country), Josh Diehl (boys soccer), Glen First (boys and girls swimming and diving), Andrew Fraley (boys golf), Jen Hedrick (gymnastics), Josh Heffernan (wrestling), Mark Nori (football), Dana Stearns (girls volleyball), Catherine Ubry (girls cross country) and Tara Zimmer (girls soccer).