A longtime member of the program is set to become the new Grove City High School boys basketball coach.

Pending school board approval, Eric Saxton will replace Greg Waits, who stepped down after 15 seasons to become the school’s athletics supervisor. Waits begins his new job Aug. 1 after the retirement of Ron Hutcheson.

“I’m very excited for Eric and our basketball program,” Waits said. “He will continue the excellence in the basketball program. The kids love him and they will be ready to get back to work doing it the Grove City way.”

Saxton, 49, has been an assistant coach in the program for 19 seasons.

“I am very happy,” said Saxton, who noted that athletics director Kris Sander offered him the position July 12. “It’s a dream come true for me. I’m proud to take that job.”

Saxton is a 1987 graduate of Grove City, where he played point guard for the Greyhounds. He then played at Capital University, graduating in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Saxton was an assistant coach for Ray Miller at Grove City from 1994-2002 before serving as an assistant at West Jefferson under Miller for three seasons and at Ready under Pat Murphy for one season. He returned to Grove City to coach under Waits in the 2007-08 season.

Saxton was an assistant when Grove City won Division I district titles in 1999 and 2009.

“Being a head coach wasn’t my ultimate goal. My ultimate goal was to be at Grove City High School,” said Saxton, who works in real estate. “To me, that’s the pinnacle of all coaching positions because my roots are so deep here. There’s no place I’d rather be.”

During his tenure with the Greyhounds, Waits compiled an overall record of 208-136 and an OCC mark of 99-83 with five league titles.