The “Dragon Dynasty” and “Gold Rush” was short lived.
West Union boys’ basketball coach Greg Himes has decided not to return as coach for next season, ending a one-year memorable run with the Dragons.
The news leaked out late Thursday evening that Himes would not be back.
“Greg Himes did an excellent job leading our Dragons to a SHAC championship in the 2017-18 season. By statute, all supplemental contracts are non-renewed each year. Coach Himes was provided the opportunity to apply for and coach again in 2018-19. A timeline for getting started was provided to Coach Himes and he did not apply for or pursue coaching for us. I wish Coach Himes the best of luck moving forward,” West Union principal Roger Taylor said.
Himes had expressed interest in a teaching position at the school and none were available. West Union then gave Himes a timeline on committing to coaching next season.
“I drive daily to Cincinnati to teach and driving there everyday was a hassle,” Himes said. “We had talked all winter about coming into the building and working into the system. I’ve had a death in the family recently and the last thing I wanted was to talk about basketball. They gave me a timeline and gave me a directive, when I didn’t take time to answer the directive, they told me they were moving forward elsewhere.”
This comes off a season in which the Dragons claimed their first Southern Hills Athletic Conference Division I title since 1989 by going 10-3 in the league. West Union finished the season at 16-5, losing in the first round of sectional play to Southeastern.
“We had all the intent in keeping Coach Himes,” Taylor said. “We were a bit suprised by the decision. He was just unwilling to commit without a teaching job. We fully anticipated for him to coach, but we’re unable to create jobs that aren’t there.”
Taylor said they plan on having a coaching staff filled within the next week and plan to do it internally. Austin Kingsolver was the only assistant on staff this year.
As for Himes, who currently teaches at Alliance Academy Charter School in Cincinnati, said he’ll explore his options and expressed interest in continuing to coach. Himes was voted as Coach of the Year in the SHAC as well as Co-Coach of the Year in the Division III, Southeast District. He often coined the phrases “Dragon Dynasty” and implemented the “Gold Rush” defense that was so successful for the team this year, rejuvenating a fan base that failed to see much success in the last three decades.
“My intent was to coach at West Union and that be my last coaching job. They treated me very well and I have nothing but good things to say about the community,” Himes said. “The kids played hard for me and bought in to what I wanted to do and gave me a solid effort every night. It was a great experience and a great community here.”
Himes has coached at Cincinnati-Clermont and Southern State in the college ranks along with West Union, who didn’t have a chance to address the team prior to his departure.
On top of replacing Himes, the Dragons will have to look at replacing six seniors on this year’s team.