Coach craves community support


Bethany Warthen looks forward to building a girls’ basketball program that is supported not only by players’ families but by the community as a whole.

“I was looking for a chance to get back to coaching at the varsity level and building a program somewhere in a small town,” said London High School’s new varsity girls’ basketball coach.

Last year, Warthen coached eighth-grade basketball at Brookpark Middle School. She also served as the varsity girls’ coach at Franklin Heights High School from 2004 to 2007. Both schools are in the South-Western City School District in the Grove City area.

Warthen graduated from Newark High School in 1991 and started coaching right out of high school, mostly for middle school programs in the area. She landed a varsity assistant and junior varsity coaching job at New Albany in 1997. She stayed with the program through 2003, the year the team made it to the state Final Four.

For the 2003-04 season, Warthen was an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Otterbein College, where she earned her degree in history. She holds a teaching certificate in social studies and teaches U.S. history at Franklin Heights. She has coached AAU basketball since 1996.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with the athletes at London. I have met 18 or 19 of them and they seem really receptive to what my assistants and I have in mind,” said Warthen.

“They have a good basketball IQ. The former coach definitely did not leave the cupboard bare. They know what they need to do to succeed.”

Warthen and members of the team traveled to the College of Wooster (Ohio) the weekend of June 28 for a 12-team shootout. The event gave Warthen, as well as her players, an early look at the competition. They played Division I and Division II teams.

Through conditioning and mini-camps this summer, Warthen will introduce the team to her preferred style of play—up-tempo with change-ups in defense that force opponents to make changes. She also will work toward extending the program’s reach into the elementary grades to prep youngsters with the fundamentals before they enter high school.

As assistant coaches, Warthen is bringing Austin Allen and Irish Dorris to London from the Franklin Heights and AAU programs.

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