Like seemingly most of the rest of the world, the hiring process to staff the soon-to-open Green Hill High School is on hold during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The wheels of (human resources) have come to a grinding halt,” Green Hill athletic director Chris Tucker said last Thursday. “We’re in a holding pattern.”
Staffing a brand new school is hectic in the best of times. In this case, factor in a tornado which destroyed two other district schools, followed by a pandemic which has put the entire system on lockout for at least the rest of this month and quite possibly well beyond.
“There are a whole lot of moving pieces,” Tucker said, noting most of the coaching hires will have to fit into teaching positions.
Hired so far is head football coach Josh Crouch, who has brought in longtime Station Camp coach (and former Mt. Juliet High Golden Bear and Cumberland Bulldog) Shaun Hollinsworth as defensive coordinator and Ben Kuhn, from Smyrna, as offensive coordinator. His remaining staff is also on hold while the district sits out the crisis. Crouch said last Friday he is expecting to have nine assistant coaches in the building (either as staff or other school employee) and four volunteers.
“I’ve had to wait a little bit to hire people because we have to have an interview with (principal) Mr. (Kevin) Dawson and an interview with the county (HR).
“With our county shut down, we can’t have anybody on campus (central office in Lebanon, where all Green Hill business is taking place while the campus is under construction). I can’t get guys to fill out HR paperwork.”
As for other sports, Tucker said Sara Baxley will be the Hawks’ first girls’ soccer coach while Robert Brindos will take over the boys’ team. Donna Simms will come from Wilson Central to be the cheerleading sponsor. Mt. Juliet track and field coach David Glasscock confirmed he will move to Green Hill to coach that sport with Shaq Cragwall, who jumped for Glasscock at Lebanon and assisted him at Mt. Juliet, will be the other head coach, with one designated as boys’ coach and the other girls’.
“I worked to prioritize getting the fall sports done first,” Tucker said. “Mr. (principal Kevin) Dawson has made a recommendation for hire for volleyball and are waiting for HR (to finalize the hire).”
Also awaiting coaches are softball, both basketball positions, baseball, wrestling and others. But time is running short as many of these sports are active in the summertime before classes begin at the first of August.
“We may get two or three of them out in the next couple of weeks,” Tucker said.
Dawson and Tucker have been working out of the district’s central office in Lebanon. But with only essential personnel working there and very few personal interactions, it may be time to think outside the box.
“I’m getting a little antsy,” Tucker said. “In the next couple of weeks, we’re probably going to have to do some distance-type interviews.
“I’m hoping we will be moving forward with having interviews through Skype and Zoom.”
Crouch said he’ll have to use 21st century technology to communicate as well.
“I’m holding a booster club meting through Zoom,” Crouch said. “We’re going to have a coaches meeting virtually online as well.
“I’m going to have to get creative with how we meet with one another.”
Crouch said the Hawks will play a full varsity schedule this fall, including some at home. He said he has scheduled nine games and is working on a 10th. There will also be a junior-varsity and a freshman slate of six games each.