FORTVILLE — While considering the open Mt. Vernon girls basketball coaching position, one of the first people Steve Doud reached out to was Brian Kehrt, a friend and former coaching colleague.
Kehrt, the current second-year New Palestine girls coach, was the head coach of the Dragons’ boys program from 1995-2004. Doud was head coach of the Mt. Vernon boys from 1996-2006.
“I called him, and I just wanted to get a feel for how he’s liking it,” Doud, 50, said. “And he said he loves it. And I’m thinking, ‘That’s all I need to hear.’”
Doud followed Kehrt’s path and was hired by the Mt. Vernon school board Monday as the Marauders’ new girls basketball leader.
Doud replaces Julie Shelton, who recently stepped down after 16 seasons, two State Finals appearances and with a .706 win percentage to become an assistant at Butler University.
The Marauders won at least 17 games in Shelton’s final five seasons, highlighted by the 2013 Class 3A state title.
“I think most coaches like to come in with programs that are not doing so well and try to build them into programs,” said Doud, a math teacher at MV since 1996. “The program here is already at a high level, so the job is to keep it at that level.
“They’re big shoes to fill. Lord have mercy, a state championship and a state runner-up? How many coaches in the state don’t even win a sectional?”
Doud has two sectional titles to his credit. A 1982 Mt. Vernon graduate, Doud went on to graduate from Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before beginning his coaching career at Rensselaer Central. The Bombers posted winning records in four of Doud’s five seasons in Jasper County and won a sectional championship in 1995.