Madison-Plains hires new boys’ basketball coach

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Messenger photo by Sandi Latimer Joe B. Stewart is the new Madison-Plains boys’ basketball coach.
Messenger photo by Sandi Latimer
Joe B. Stewart is the new Madison-Plains boys’ basketball coach.

(Posted May 21, 2o15)

Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Madison-Plains High School’s new head boys’ basketball coach looks forward to his first win with his new team.

“That first win is going to be a big one,” said Joe B. Stewart on May 19, shortly after the school board voted to hire him as a basketball coach and intervention specialist.

Stewart’s career spans 33 years, during which time he has built a reputation for rebuilding programs. At Piketon, he inherited a 0-21 squad and rebounded to an 11-12 record in year one and 15-8 record in year two, the most wins at the school in 27 years. The team went 22-3 in 1986, setting a school record for wins and earning league, sectional and district champion-ships.

In 1989, Stewart led Hillsboro to their only undefeated season and was named Associated Press Ohio Coach of the Year in Div. II. His Hillsboro teams achieved a 58-7 record during his tenure.

Following five championship seasons at Chillicothe, Stewart was hired to institute a men’s basketball program at Southern State Community College. He most recently coached at Edgewood High School, doubling the program’s win total over the previous two seasons.

Three times, at three separate schools, Stewart was named Associated Press Southeast District Coach of the Year. In 2014, he was inducted into the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches District 14 Hall of Fame.

As an affiliate staff member with Ath-letes in Action, Stewart has led basketball coaches clinics in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Stewart obtained a bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College, a master’s in sport coaching science from the United States Sports Academy, and a ministry degree from the Wagner Leadership School. He also taught English for 30 years. At Edgewood, he oversaw the Suc-cess Academy, an alternative education program for at-risk youths.

Financial forecast update

Treasurer Todd Mustain said the district is looking good in the five-year forecast to be filed with the state May 31.

He said an increase in the property tax collections and no increase in health insurance costs are proving beneficial to the district.

Student achievement

The school board recognized several students for their participation in the Madison County Math Bee: Logan Johnson, Andrew Geyer, Ken Shafer, Jonathan Martin, Joey Grigsby, Spencer Baker, Clint Southworth, Chris Ernst, Gavin Jones, Ashley Griffith, Makayla Witbeck and Alexa Freier.

Boy Scout Luke Hockman received an Excellence Award for raising money to purchase school supplies for less fortunate children in the district.

Superintendent Tim Dettwiller said he became aware of Hockman’s efforts when boxes upon boxes of school supplies arrived at his office.

“We’ve got to bring him to the next board meeting,” Dettwiller recalled saying after stumbling through the boxes.

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