By TED RADICK
BLOOMDALE — Elmwood boys basketball coach and athletic director Ty Traxler is taking a new position at the high school come the fall of the 2020-21 school year, but his coaching role will be unchanged.
Traxler, currently a middle/high school assistant principal in addition to his athletic roles, was approved as Elmwood’s new high school head principal by a vote of the Elmwood school board at its March meeting.
Traxler will replace current Principal Tom Bentley, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
“I’m going to continue to be the head basketball coach,” Traxler said. “That was part of the deal.”
Traxler, who got a three-year contract as principal, will give up his athletic director duties when the spring sports season ends.
“Actually, I’ll probably have more time after school to coach than I did with the positions I was in,” Traxler said.
Traxler just finished his 12th season as the Royals’ varsity head coach. Elmwood went 11-13 this season, bringing Traxler’s career record to 150-124. This is Traxler’s 20th year at Elmwood; he was the junior varsity boys coach under Doug Reynolds for eight seasons.
Traxler has been Elmwood’s athletic director and assistant principal for five years.
Like all athletic directors and coaches, Traxler is in a holding pattern awaiting word from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio High School Athletic Association on when and if spring sports can resume, and the summer work that basketball teams participate in.
“The main part of my job is discipline at school and athletics, and right now we don’t have any of that,” he said. “It’s an unprecedented time we’re all dealing with, and I think we’re all trying to make the best of it. We’re getting a lot of future planning for athletics done.
“The most heartbreaking thing for us here at Elmwood is our two state qualifying wrestlers.”
Senior Will Bechstein and sophomore Gunner Endicott were both set to compete in Columbus. The OHSAA on Thursday formally canceled state meets for hockey, wrestling, boys basketball and girls basketball.
“They won’t get a chance to wrestle for a state championship and that is, obviously, a sickening feeling for them, the coaching staff and us as a school community. They are two great kids,” Traxler said.
Meanwhile, Traxler has summer camps and shootouts for his basketball team to prepare for. He said planning is ongoing for those activities.
“I’ve got my summer plan in place,” Traxler said. “We actually host a couple of summer shootouts at Elmwood and we’re starting to fill those up. We’re just proceeding right now, I guess, with business as usual.
“I think at this point, June is far enough out that we can’t not at least plan anything. But, we haven’t sent our official stuff out to the parents like we normally have at this time.
“I also am an Eastern Ohio Basketball Camp director for Larry Huggins over in Sharrodsville, and we’re planning on going there this summer. If the governor tells us we can’t, then we won’t. We’re taking a wait-and-see approach now to see what the governor and the OHSAA may recommend as we go forward.”
The search for a new athletic director at Elmwood has begun, Traxler said. District Superintendent Tony Borton is, understandably, unable to do face-to-face interviews for the time being.
“That job was posted externally before I was board-approved as principal,” Traxler said. “That process is fluid and active as we speak.”