CHARLOTTESVILLE — Eastern Hancock High School athletics director Aaron Spaulding had one word to describe the month-long uncertainty surrounding the girls varsity basketball program and its coach, Sharon Doud.
“Limbo,” Spaulding remarked when discussing the past four weeks. “It left us in limbo for quite some time. It’s been very challenging.”
After a board meeting conducted by Eastern Hancock Schools on Thursday night pertaining to Doud, the athletics department and Spaulding are now in position to move forward.
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On Thursday, Doud, 47, submitted her resignation as the school’s varsity girls basketball coach, which the school board accepted.
“There was a board meeting called to address just that, and they accepted her resignation,” Spaulding said. “It was something that (Doud) ultimately arrived to on her own. It wasn’t anything forced or anything of that nature. She felt this was for the best.”
On Sept. 2, Doud was arrested and accused of driving drunk in Fortville. She was charged with two counts of operating while intoxicated, each a Class A misdemeanor.
A Fortville police officer stopped Doud around 11 p.m. Sept. 2 for driving erratically on South Maple Street in Fortville, police said.
According to the police report, a field sobriety test revealed Doud had a .217 breath-alcohol content, almost three times the legal limit. She was arrested and booked into the Hancock County Jail. She was released on $600 bond.
On Sept. 16, Doud appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 2 alongside her attorney, Jillian Keating, and pleaded not guilty to the allegations. Her second hearing is set for Oct. 13.
Doud is a sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher at Eastern Hancock Middle School.
She was hired as head varsity girls basketball coach at the high school in 2015 to replace former head coach Jeremy Powers.
Since the incident earlier this month, Doud has been “suspended from teaching with pay,” according to Spaulding.
“At this time, Sharon Doud is still employed with our corporation and the board has accepted her resignation from her coaching position,” Dr. Vicki McGuire, the superintendent of Eastern Hancock County Community School Corporation told The Daily Reporter in an email statement.
In her lone season at Eastern Hancock, Doud guided the program to a 17-8 record.
A 1987 Mt. Vernon High School graduate, Doud held her first varsity head coaching position at Greenfield-Central High School in 2000-01 and led the Cougars’ girls team to a 13-8 season.
At Pendleton Heights from 2001-12, Doud had six varsity seasons with 18 wins or more and coached the Arabians to a regional championship in 2008-09 and three consecutive sectional titles from 2009-11.
Doud owns a 216-94 career coaching record through 13 seasons.
As a player at Mt. Vernon, she earned all-state recognition and was named a 2012 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team member. She attended Drake University on a basketball scholarship before embarking on her coaching and teaching career.
Doud returned to coaching following a two-year hiatus when she was hired at Eastern Hancock.
“At least as of the meeting, we have a new official direction, so to speak. Now, we’re just trying to find the best situation for this year,” Spaulding said. “We’re looking at all of the alternatives. It may include doing something on an interim basis this year, and then regrouping in the spring.”
According to Spaulding, he has spoken to several potential coaching candidates, but the process remains ongoing. The timing, Spaulding noted, has put the athletics department in a difficult situation as the search accelerates in preparation for the 2016-17 girls basketball season.
Preseason practices are scheduled to begin on Oct. 17.
“It’s obviously not ideal, but if we find another avenue or something happens that we feel really good about, it could be long term,” Spaulding said. “Our first focus is just making sure we have a good coach in place for this year.”
Since the incident, Doud’s position as an educator has not been addressed by the school board. Doud didn’t respond to requests for comment.
“I’ve been in dialogue with a lot of people about the coaching position, but what’s kind of handicapping us at this point is we don’t have a teaching nor any other position to go with it,” Spaulding said. “Our goal would be to have a firm plan in place by later this week. We want to make sure we come up with the best scenario possible for the girls.”