PCHS Hires New AD and Boys Basketball Coaches
Long-time Paden City athletic director and boys basketball coach Fred King submitted his retirement from these duties earlier this month, and the Wetzel County School Board of Education has hired David Riggle as the new athletic director, as well as Jeff Hohn and Brent Croasmun as the new boys head basketball coach and assistant coach, respectively.
Riggle, 29, is a graduate of Cameron High School, and a 2012 graduate of West Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health. He is currently pursuing a master’s in Educational Leadership at his alma mater.
Riggle has been working with King for the past several years as King hoped to have Riggle moved into the AD role without a hitch. Riggle knows it won’t be easy, but he is up to the challenge and looks to move forward and do the best he can.
Riggle coached the Paden City High girls basketball team that won the 2013-2014 West Virginia Home Town Invitational Tournament against Doddridge before leaving for a year to be a manager at Pepsi. He also was a volunteer coach of Special Olympics for 14 years in Marshall County.
Riggle missed teaching and coaching very much. He returned to teach and coach at the the middle school level a year later, where is currently coaching basketball and track. “I am very excited and honored to have this opportunity to give back to the great community of Paden City that has been so welcoming to my wife and I,” said Riggle.
When he was in high school at Cameron, he came to Paden City to play, and he knew there was something special about the school and the town.
The way the community united to support their team with packed houses who were so passionate. When the opportunity arose five years ago to be able to coach basketball at Paden City, he jumped on it. “I’m so thankful that I did, in these five years, I have had the honor to coach some of the greatest athletes a coach could desire, these kids give you 100 percent, and then give you a little bit more when you ask for it. So I want to do the same for them as their athletic director,” Riggle said.
He further more stated that besides the coaches, another aspect that makes the Paden City sports programs so successful are the booster clubs and the parents supporting their kids, from the background, by coaching summer and intramural teams, working the concession stands, doing fund-raising, and a numerous other tasks that sometimes go unrecognized.
“I certainly look forward to working with them as well. I am very thankful for all the support that Mr. Salva, Coach King, and the community has given me over the years, and I will work tirelessly to make sure the opportunity I have been given doesn’t go to waste,” added Riggle. “Paden City has a storied history of great sports teams, and I want to do my part to make history of our own by supporting our athletes and coaches.”
Coach Hohn is the assistant baseball coach under Coach Croasmun, and these two will hope to turn things around in boys basketball this upcoming season. Besides being the head baseball coach, Croasmun has coached 15 years as a junior high coach, one year as a freshman coach, and four years as a head girls coach. With all this experience in coaching basketball, he understands that he might not have the cream of the crop, but knows his role as an assistant coach. And, his philosophy is let the kids play and learn. Try to win if you can, but for the most part let them play. There are kids that never gets to develop, and he wants to give them that opportunity.
“Just look at Michael Jordan when he was in high school,” said Croasmun. “He was cut from the team in high school, and look what he did. I’m not saying there is a Michael Jordan out there, but if we don’t give these kids the opportunity, who knows what they will become.”
Hohn is a former Magnolia High School basketball player in the mid-70s and will take over the head boys basketball duties. He isn’t a novice in high school basketball. He was the Hundred Hornets’ head coach for eight years, while also coaching at Long Drain for three years, and junior varsity and freshman level for 14 years of basketball experience. “It’s something I’ve been waited on for a long time,” said Hohn. “I have always had an interest in coaching at Paden City, and when the opportunity opened up, I felt it was now or never. I am fortunate to have 12-13 years at Paden City, as an assistant coach under Coach Croasmun, so I immediately snatched him up as my assistant coach. He was a little hesitant as first, but we worked well together, and I’m happy to have him on the sideline with me.”
“We want to do everything we can to turn our team into winners. We have been in the gym, and we are playing in the summer league. I feel we have a good group of kids to work with, and will put special emphasis on tough defense and hopefully find some good scorers. Our goal is to play hard day in and day out, and to gel together as a team.”
Hohn went on to say, “We are a small school with limited numbers, and most of our kids play mutiple sports; we believe that makes better athletes, but also keeps them in top-notch condition. We hope to use that to our advantage.” Together, coach Hohn and Croasmun stated that changes take time anytime you put in a new system, that the kids have to grasp it and go with it. They know it won’t be easy, but they believe they have confidence in the Paden City athletes and everyone will get a fair chance.
They continued to say that it is important in high school sports to let the athletes show what they can do, and make sure that coaches notice the good along with the bad. “We are starting out new, but we’ll teach, and the kids will learn and together we’ll play basketball.”