An opportunity to return to where he enjoyed some of his greatest coaching moments proved too tempting for Jerry Bomholt to pass up.
After two seasons as Franklin Community High School’s boys basketball coach, Bomholt has accepted Southwestern (Hanover) High School’s offer to again lead the Rebels program. Bomholt also will teach high school math and possibly some driver’s education classes.
Southwestern voted unanimously in favor of the hiring at its school board meeting late Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s awkward, but yet at this point in time it’s probably the best move for me and my family,” said Bomholt, whose wife, Dee Dee, is employed as the secretary in the Hanover College athletics office.
“I’m very proud of what we accomplished at Franklin. When you win 31 games in two years, I don’t think that had been done in a while. There is a very good record at Franklin of good players and good families. They’ll continue to be successful.”
Bomholt’s stay at Franklin resulted in a 31-14 record and back-to-back Johnson County Tournament championships.
Franklin was the 61-year-old Elwood native’s ninth coaching stop in a career dating back to the
1979-80 season. Previous stops were Anderson Highland, Jay County, Northwestern, Shenandoah, Columbia City, Princeton, Southwestern and Madison Shawe.
Bomholt said most of Franklin’s returning players already knew he would likely be returning to Southwestern. He plans to meet with them Thursday.
“There’s a strong bond there
between the younger players and our coaching staff,” said Bomholt, who was quick to recommend
current Grizzly Cubs varsity assistant coach Keith Witty to be
Located southwest of Madison in Jefferson County, Southwestern previously flourished under Bomholt’s leadership, going 78-35 (.690) from 1997-2002.
His first team bounced back from a 2-5 start to advance to the first Class 2A state championship game before losing to Alexandria 57-43 at the RCA Dome.
Southwestern hasn’t won a sectional title since and has fallen on hard times.
Bomholt’s final season with the Rebels (2001-02) was its last winning season. The Rebels have since had four different head coaches combine for a record of 83-181 (.314).
Southwestern posted a 1-21 record this past season, losing by an average of 31 points a game. Conversely, Bomholt-coached ball clubs since 2003 average 15.5 victories per season.
“Hopefully we can change (the losing at Southwestern). I don’t know if we have the kind of talent we had the last time when I came here, but if we get them in the gym and coach them up ... the first thing you have to do is be competitive,” Bomholt said. “I think we can.”
Franklin becomes the second county boys basketball program this spring to be assured a new head coach.
Center Grove coach Cliff Hawkins resigned in March after 10 seasons. He was replaced last week by former Ben Davis assistant coach Zach Hahn, a member of Butler University’s Final Four squads of 2010 and 2011.
“On behalf of Franklin Community Schools we wish Jerry the best and are very thankful for the two years he was our boys basketball coach,” Franklin athletics director John Regas said. “We think the world of Jerry and are excited he has found a good situation for he and his family.”