Pickerington Athletics: Bo Hanson, Molly Feesler moving on from AD roles at Central, North

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Pickerington schools

Both Pickerington high schools will have new athletics directors next fall, although their moves were determined before the recent failure of a bond issue that would have led to improvements at both facilities.

Central athletics director Bo Hanson will take the same job at Heath, and North’s Molly Feesler will take over at Thomas Worthington pending school board approval.

Feesler has been at North since 2012. Hanson came to Central in 2018.

Feesler, who accepted the Thomas position April 23, will succeed Jen Goebbel, who has been athletics director since 2017 and will return to teaching this fall.

Feesler has worked in Pickerington for all but four years since 2000, when she began teaching and coaching at then-Pickerington High School after serving as assistant principal and athletics director at her alma mater, DeSales. 

Feesler coached Pickerington’s softball team from 2001-03 and was the first coach at North, leading the Panthers from 2004-07 before leaving to become athletics director at Bexley for four years.

Feesler said she was approached about coming to Thomas in 2017 but decided to stay at North.

“I felt like I had unfinished business at Pickerington at that time. … The timing for me wasn’t right then. The difference four years makes is the timing is right for me now,” Feesler said. “I’m somebody who doesn’t sit still very well. I’m always trying to make things a little bit better here or there, whether as a classroom teacher or as an athletics director or as a regular person. I think I’ve reached the end of what I can do to make it better at Pickerington.”

Hanson is returning to Licking County, where he spent 29 years at Lakewood before coming to Central. He was Lakewood’s athletics director from 2008-18 and spent time as an assistant coach in the Lancers’ perennially successful softball program.

Hanson will succeed Ellis Booth, who died Dec. 5 of complications of COVID-19. Booth had been Heath’s athletics director since 2016, his second stint in the position, and previously served as high school principal for 10 years.

“It was just what was best for my family at this time,” said Hanson, whose hire was approved in late April. “It’s closer to home (in Perry County). I was at Lakewood when the Licking County League was reformed (in 2013). There’s absolutely a familiarity there.

“The relationships I built with people at Central stand out the most. The coaches, administrators and kids were wonderful – I had a great rapport with the athletes. There are a lot of great people in that building I am going to miss.”

Meanwhile, the district is grappling with the second rejection in six months of a 2.9-mill bond for the construction of a new junior high school as well as expansions and upgrades to buildings.

The bond issue was defeated 3,698 (60.94%) to 2,370 (39.36%) on May 4, according to the boards of elections in Fairfield and Franklin counties. It also failed 15,434 (53.15%) to 13,602 (46.85%) on Nov. 3.

At Central, the bond would have enabled the completion of an auxiliary stadium to the east of the high school on Opportunity Way, including the installation of a synthetic-turf field.

At North, it would have funded construction of practice fields adjacent to the high school and Lakeview Junior High School and the installation of synthetic turf at the stadium. Lighting would have been installed at the softball complex.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave