Girls Basketball: Olentangy Braves tab John Ballmer as next coach

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
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John Ballmer didn’t have to go far to land his first head-coaching job.

Ballmer, who has coached in Olentangy’s boys basketball program the past four seasons, will be the Braves’ next girls basketball coach, pending school board approval.

“I told (boys coach John) Feasel probably a year or two ago that the only way I’d leave his program is if a head-coaching position were to open up,” said Ballmer, a Toledo native who is an intervention aide at the high school. “I don’t have to go anywhere and I can see the student-athletes I’ll be coaching every day. To me, that’s very important.”

Ballmer coached Shanahan Middle School’s seventh-grade girls team from 2012-16. He was the freshman boys coach from 2017-19 and the junior varsity coach the past two seasons.

Ballmer succeeds Kate Cummings, who went 33-33 in three seasons.

The Braves advanced to a Division I district semifinal this past season, losing to Logan 52-44 to finish 12-9 overall and 6-4 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

A few key players are eligible to return in sophomores Paige Pawlikowski (center), Reagan Richeson (forward) and Jonna Spohn (guard). Richeson averaged 7.2 points and 6.7 rebounds and Spohn averaged 6.4 points.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave