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Two and out for Ray at Crawford

Two and out for Ray at Crawford
Two and out for Ray at Crawford
Crawford County boys' basketball coach Mike Ray, seen here with Evan Crecelius during last season's game with Forest Park, resigned last Wednesday. 'He did a lot of good things for the program that the people really liked,' Crawford athletic director Jerry Hanger said. (Photo by Wade Bell)

After two years at the helm of the Crawford County Wolfpack basketball team, head coach Mike Ray turned in his resignation last Wednesday, after compiling a 19-24 record.
‘He just felt like there were too many distractions and interferences for him to enjoy the position,’ Crawford Athletic Director Jerry Hanger said. ‘That was pretty well it.’
‘He had two years left on his contract,’ he added. ‘He made the decision to resign. Nobody asked him to quit. He did this on his own.’
Some of the distractions Hanger talked about included unexpected reconstruction on the gym and projects planned for this summer. That left the school with little to no gym space except at the elementary schools.
‘We had nine groups trying to use the gymnasium during the winter,’ Hanger said. ‘There were some circumstances that happened over the winter that were beyond our control. When the gym started falling on one side, and then we had supports put into that and we fixed it … then, the same thing happened to the other side … Well, then, we had to move out of the gym for a couple of days as far as practice. We had to do some different things there, so that was an inconvenience for us.’
This summer, work has been ongoing to install new bleachers, as well as a new heating and air conditioning system, forcing summer camps to be held at other sites.
‘We had to move our camps totally out of the high school and move them down to our elementary,’ Hanger said. ‘These things are out of our control, because the subcontractors and people are coming in and doing this work. They basically tell us when they’re coming in.’
Hanger said Ray also had issues back at his home in Illinois that needed tending to, and the travel time back and forth also took a toll.
‘Mike Ray is a good man,’ Hanger said. ‘He’s a man that’s really proud of his family, and he really wants to take care of them. He was dividing his time up here and between Illinois, and that got to wearing on him a little bit. When we had these distractions here … I think it just overwhelmed him and it was just too much.’
Hanger gave nothing but praise to the former Wolfpack coach.
‘He did a lot of good things for the program that the people really liked,’ he said.
The school has already begun its search for a new coach. Hanger said the position has been posted and some incoming contacts have been made.
‘We’re looking to do something in mid-July,’ he said. ‘We’re at the point (where) we’ve already accepted his resignation. There’s a 15-day posting period that we have to do for (Indiana State Teachers Association) purposes and then, from that point, we’ll pool our applications in. I’ve already had some contacts from people who have seen it on the Internet already, so it’s out there. There’s a lot of people who know the position’s open. Even within a two-day period, people know. That travels pretty fast.’
Hanger said the 15-day posting period allows interested individuals from both inside and outside the school system to apply.
‘We have to evaluate our in-house people, then we’re going to open it up to the outside,’ he said. ‘We’re going to test the waters and see what’s out there.’
‘We want to get the best coach for our kids. That’s the bottom line. We want to hire the very best candidate we have,’ Hanger said. ‘We want people to know that we want to get the very best coach in here that’s the best for our kids. We want stability in the program, and we want to have a good moral person who’s going to come in and take control of the program and lead us in the right direction.’

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