>Search for a new head coach will begin immediately
Pete Lucas, the Crook County High School head wrestling coach, has resigned from his position at the helm of the Cowboy squad, it was announced in a press release from the Crook County School District Friday. Lucas, who was suspended following a weight-card incident uncovered at the IMC district tournament in early February, said that he felt it was just time to step down. “My main thought and hope is that they get somebody really good, that the kids stick around and that the winning tradition stays alive,” he said Tuesday morning. Crook County School District Superintendent Gary Peterson issued the following statement in Friday’s press release. “We appreciate the work that Mr. Lucas has done in developing the Crook County Wrestling program, and we understand that this was undoubtedly a difficult decision for him. However, in view of the on-going investigation and probable sanctions by the Oregon School Activities Association, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the program and our student-athletes. The District does not intend to rehire Mr. Lucas as head wrestling coach or in any other coaching capacity, in the foreseeable future.” The 2000-2001 season was the second year as head coach for Lucas since he resigned from the program shortly after the 1996-1997 season due to an incident involving one CCHS wrestler weighing in for another Crook County wrestler at the IMC district tournament. Lucas was later sanctioned by the OSAA before returning to the head of the wrestling program for the 1999-2000 school year. Peterson explained in Friday’s press release that the search for a head coach will begin immediately. “We have an outstanding wrestling program here in Crook County and it is our intent to hire the highest quality coach possible,” he said. Crook County High School athletic director Bob Shields said that the resignation does not affect Lucas’ position as a CCHS physical education teacher. Shields went on to say that applicants from both within the wrestling program and from elsewhere will be taken into consideration. “We’ll open it inside and see who the candidates are, then we’ll open it outside,” Shields said Monday afternoon. As a result of the weight-card incident, in which the majority of the Crook County wrestlers did not have properly signed weight cards to be eligible for the season, members of the OSAA will meet in Wilsonville May 7 to discuss the the topic further. Lucas said he hopes to continue teaching at CCHS next year, but that he doesn’t know if he’ll seek a coaching position elsewhere in the future.