Almost five years after stepping down as a college basketball head coach, Kate Cummings is ready to get back on the bench next winter as the Olentangy High School girls basketball team’s new coach.

Cummings, a 1988 Gahanna graduate who played college basketball at Rio Grande, was 311-231 in 18 seasons at Ohio Dominican (1995-2006) and Findlay (2006-13).

“I had a few years to step back. The challenges of being a college coach can be draining and I needed some time to back away,” said Cummings, whose hire is pending school board approval. “But we’re engaged in the Olentangy community, I’ve coached kids at the lower level and I’m excited about this opportunity.”

Cummings’ middle daughter, Bailey, will be a junior forward for the Braves next season.

Cummings succeeds Mike Daniels, who resigned in March after going 22-25 in two seasons.

Since stepping down at Findlay, Cummings has coached fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade girls basketball in the Olentangy Youth Athletic Association and was seventh-grade coach at Shanahan Middle School last year.

“Kate’s experiences and successes speak for themselves. She knows what it takes to run a successful program, and re-establishing the excitement in our girls basketball program and a positive team culture is her top priority,” athletics director Jay Wolfe said.

Olentangy was 11-13 overall and 5-5 in the OCC-Buckeye Division this past season, losing to Watterson 52-36 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.

“I’m very much a defensive-minded coach,” Cummings said. “I devote a lot of time to defense, because with good defense you get more chances on offense.”

Cummings’ husband is Ohio Dominican football coach Kelly Cummings. They have four children, Ally, Bailey, Camryn and Blake. Ally Cummings was a thrower for the Olentangy Orange girls track and field team from 2013-16 and now competes at Capital.