CHARLOTTESVILLE — It was a match made in heaven.
A little more than two weeks ago, Eastern Hancock athletics director Aaron Spaulding described the ideal candidate to replace Jeremy Powers as the next girls basketball coach as “someone who has experience at a high level.”
Meanwhile, Shari Doud, a 12-year varsity coach with 199 wins to her name, was sitting at home beginning to feel a familiar itch after being out of the game for the past two years.
When she heard the Royals’ job was open, she made the call. The rest was mere formality.
Just 16 days after Powers announced his resignation, Spaulding announced that pending school board approval next month, Doud will be new girls basketball coach at Eastern Hancock.
“It’s the perfect fit,” said Doud, who left Pendleton Heights in 2012 after notching 10 winning seasons out of 11. “Everything, the school, the people, the atmosphere, it’s exactly what I was looking for.”
For Doud, it will be a homecoming of sorts, as she returns to Hancock County basketball for a third go-around. Her first years spent in the county were at Mt. Vernon (1987 graduate), where she was an all-state player and a 2012 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team member.
Years after attending Drake University on a full basketball scholarship, she took the helm at Greenfield-Central as the girls coach for one season (2000-01) before leaving for Pendleton Heights.
For the Royals, Doud’s hiring is another big get a year after securing the services of state championship winning football coach Jim O’Hara (Cathedral, 2006-07).
Spaulding said the school’s recent track record of luring big names to Charlottesville is a testament to the people there constantly trying to make Eastern Hancock a better place to learn, teach and coach.
“We’re trying to build something special here,” Spaulding said. “We’re trying to make this a place where people want to be, and to get people like coach O’Hara and coach Doud … it really makes us feel like we’re doing something right.”
Doud replaces Powers, who resigned to become the assistant principal at North Decatur Elementary School. Powers coached Eastern Hancock for four seasons. Under his tutelage, the Royals won more than two-thirds of their games (59-29).
However, despite his regular-season success, he and his Royals were never able to erase a now 14-year sectional championship drought.
Doud, who already has looked at game footage of the Royals last season, believes she has the players to break the streak.
“It looks like the sky is the limit with this group,” said Doud, who won three sectional titles and a regional crown while at Pendleton Heights. “They have a lot of kids who can shoot.”
Arriving with Doud on the Eastern Hancock bench will be her father and longtime assistant Ed Clark. He will sit next to her and advise her as he always has, Doud said.
“He’s been with me every step of the way,” Doud said. “That’s not going to change.”
As for the future of incumbent Royals’ assistants Rex Putt, Cory Rainbolt and Powers’ father Gary Powers, Doud is unsure.
“I have some ideas about assistants, but that whole situation is up in the air as of now,” she said.
Spaulding said Doud will have complete autonomy in choosing who sits on her bench. He said she plans to meet with Putt, Rainbolt and Powers in the near future.
Also coming soon is Doud’s first meeting with her team. Though the school board will have to approve her hiring at their meeting July 13, an introductory meeting has been scheduled for July 7 at the high school.
There, Royals parents and players will have a chance to meet the new coach, and she will be able to share some information about open gym times in July as well as her coaching philosophies.
“I know that they have been more of zone team in the past,” Doud said. “But I have always been a man-to-man coach, so that’s what we’re going to work on. Offensively, I have some variety, but I’m flexible. I like to give them some freedom on that end of the court.”
Along with coaching the varsity team, Doud also will serve as the sixth-grade Language Arts & Social Studies teacher at Eastern Hancock Middle School.
- She was an All-State player at Mt. Vernon High School (Class of 1987).
- She was also a member of the 2012 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team.
- She went on to play basketball at Drake University on a full basketball scholarship.
- She has been a head coach at Greenfield-Central (one season year) and Pendleton Heights (11 seasons). During those 12 years she has coached her teams to a 199-86 record, three conference championships, six Madison County Championships, three sectional titles and a regional championship.
- She has also been a Indiana All-Star Assistant Coach as well as a North South Head Coach.
Shari Doud’s coaching 12-year coaching record. She coached for one season (2000-2001) at Greenfield-Central before moving on to Pendleton Heights for her 11 remaining seasons.