For the Brazil Times
Ernie Maesch, a 1990 Northview High School graduate is returning home.
Maesch, who has served the past five seasons as boys' basketball coach at Shakamak High School, has accepted a similar position at his alma mater.
He was approved by Clay Community School Corporation's board of trustees Thursday night in a special session.
Maesch had a 78-40 record in five seasons at Shakamak.
He guided the Lakers to two sectionals championships (2006 and 2008) as well as a regional title in 2006.
"I am very excited," said Maesch, whose Lakers went 19-6 this season including winning the Greene County Daily World Invitational for the first time in 26 seasons. "I feel a little bit rejuvenated.
"I had no intention of leaving Shakamak. I knew the job was open. When home comes calling and they say all the right things, it is kind of hard to turn down."
Maesch's Lakers were Tri-River Conference champions in 2006 and were TRC co-champs this year. His teams were 21-14 in Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference games and 19-6 in the TRC.
He said the timing was both right and wrong, in part because he had four sophomores returning from this year's squad that lost to Indianapolis Lutheran at the Class A Martinsville Regional.
"If I was ever going to make a move, I needed to do it now," said Maesch, who played college basketball at Indiana State University. "But it was not good timing with the Shakamak situation.
"We have built things up to a high level and expect great things. When I talked to the kids the other day, I told them my expectations for them is to play for the biggest prize in the state and that should not change because I am leaving."
Maesch takes over for Mitch Lancaster, who stepped down after a three-point sectional loss to Terre Haute North.
Shakamak athletic director Brent Anderson said they will begin a search immediately to try and replace Maesch.
"Any time you lose a coach like Ernie, it is a big loss for us," said Anderson, whose wife LuAnne also was approved as the new girls' basketball coach at Northview High School Thursday. "He has done very well in the time he has been here. It will be tough to replace him.
"We really haven't sat down and tried to iron out any time table for replacing Ernie. In the next couple of days, we will look at a time frame and begin setting up things for the application process. It is a tough loss for us, but I am excited that Ernie is getting to go home."
Maesch said he plans to meet with his team Monday and watch them perform in an open-gym situation Tuesday.
"I am leaving for a basketball clinic in Las Vegas on Wednesday," said Maesch. "I want to get a mentally image of the kids and have some time to think about what I have to work with before I leave.
"This is a great opportunity to build something at Northview. I am taking the road less traveled and am ready to step on the accelerator."
Maesch will hold a meeting for any boy that will be an incoming ninth through 12th grader next year, interested in playing basketball.
The meeting will take place in the high school gym at 8 p.m. on Monday and all athletes regardless of spring sports participation should attend.