The IGHSAU and IGHSAA have released guidance for Iowa High Schools to move into winter sports programs for the 2020-2021 basketball, wrestling and cheer seasons. With the beginning of winter sports seasons only a few short weeks away, the Wayne Community School District approved related sports contracts in their October 19 regular school board meeting.
Four contracts were on the table to be considered including Amanda Onstot, Special Education Associate; Rick Hopkins, Head Junior High Boy’s Basketball Coach; Tim Swan, Assistant Junior High Boy’s Basketball Coach and Joe Nekvinda, Head High School Boy’s Wrestling Coach. The board moved forward approving contracts for Onstot, Hopkins and Swan to open the floor for discussion regarding the wrestling position.
Earlier in the meeting, guests Josh Cobb and Hunter Cobb spoke to the board regarding the head wrestling coach position.
“Tonight I am representing a concerned group of wrestling parents and citizens of Wayne Community Schools,” began Josh. “It has come to our attention that you have offered the head wrestling coach position to Mr. Joe Nekvinda. We respectfully ask you to reconsider this choice and consider hiring Mr. Dallas O’Brien.”
Cobb spoke to the board regarding O’Brien’s connections to Wayne CSD and his qualifications for the coaching position. His concern being the length of commitment Nekvinda would give beyond the current year of wrestling following his teaching retirement.
When the contract discussion began within the board, Wayne CSD Board President Kevin Comer turned to Athletic Director Aaron Cooper to provide insight on how the decision was made for the hiring process.
“We had two candidates and we interviewed them both and did reference and background checking on both,” began Cooper. “Both interviews were good. To me it came down to being familiar with how the program was before Joe took over and I think we are in a much better place now. With the process of this interview I feel he is willing to invest in our program as he has already done.”
“For me I thought they were both good candidates, but we settled on Joe because we thought he has done a good job and I think he is energized to continue doing a good job in the future,” Cooper continued. “I know there has been some questions about how long he wants to do it, but he has given no indication this will be a short-term thing. He wants to keep doing it for as long as he is enjoying it.”
“He has put time into our program including basically building the wrestling room and I think those kind of things speak well of him in the past and going towards the future,” said Cooper. “He’s had a lot of state qualifiers and won Pride of Iowa Conference a few years ago and has a lot of good things on his resume.”
Comer noted with Cooper being the athletic director he assumes any coaching contracts would be handled the same way. He felt the outcome of the interview and selection process is something that should be handled by Cooper as that is a part of his job as the athletic director.
Wayne board member Dan Carpenter asked Cooper who is involved in the interview process for hiring of athletic coaches within the school district. Cooper noted along with himself, Secondary Principal Stacy Snyder was also involved with the interviews for this position, but it isn’t always the same process.
“The H.R. person could also be involved, but Christina was gone on maternity leave,” stated Superintendent Mike Still. “There were some hiccups with the post for the position.”
The board voted in favor 4 to 1 in the re-hiring of Nekvinda as the head wrestling coach for the program.
In other business the board discussed the approval of a contract with NFHS Network to install two cameras, one within the junior high gymnasium and one within the high school gymnasium, for the purpose of live-streaming athletic and school events held. Cooper informed the board the camera cost would be $2,500 combined for the cameras along with $3,000 for installation totaling $5,500.
The cameras would allow individuals to watch a live-stream of events held within the school once the individual paid for a subscription either $10.99 per month or $69.99 per year fee to NFHS. The board approved the contract with Cooper noting he would reach out immediately in hopes to have cameras installed and working within the winter sports seasons.
The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m.