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Risen resigns as Ashland hoop coach

Mark Risen, Ashland High dean of students and boys head basketball coachthe last two years, has resigned from both positions.

Risen, 29, accepted a position as teacher and head basketball coach atSweet Home High School last week.

I wasn't totally surprised that Mark resigned, Ashland AthleticDirector Jim Nagel said. Mark needs a classroom teaching positionto keep his certification as a teacher. We had talked about this for quitea while and he felt he needed a teaching job by next year.

We had hoped to get him a teaching position when we hired him here,but it didn't work out and he ended up as dean of students,'' said Nagel.It's almost urgent that he gets a teaching position and I understand.

Nagel said Ashland High will soon begin a search for a new basketballcoach and dean of students. It's going to be a little tough becausewe don't have any teaching openings, Nagel said. I would rathernot hire anybody as coach and ask them to be dean of students.

We've already been through that and it doesn't work very well.There are several conflicts there, including one of time. Mark had a hardtime finding the time to do both jobs, especially during the season.

The main thing here is that Mark not only wants to teach, but heneeds to, Nagel said.

Risen compiled a two-year record of 11-33 as head coach at Ashland. Histeams had Southern Oregon Conference records of 4-12 in 1996 and 1-15 in1997.

Despite the losing records, Nagel said that Risen did not resign underany kind of pressure.

What probably worked against Mark was that he was doing such afine job as dean of students, Nagel said. The administrationwas very pleased with the job he did. They wanted to keep him.

As far as the program was concerned, he had problems to deal within terms of personnel, but I felt the program showed progress each year,Nagel said.

Without a teaching opening available, Nagel said there is a possibilitythe school might hire an interim head coach from within the staff for atleast one year.

There are a couple of teachers in the building that I think wouldbe interested, Nagel said. I will be talking to them and someother people.

Nagel said he doesn't anticipate that former Ashland High basketballcoach Jerry Hauck will be interested in the position. Hauck is rumored tobe the top in-school candidate to replace Nagel as athletic director afterNagel takes over as head football coach at Southern Oregon University inthe fall of 1998.

I think Jerry is having too much fun playing golf to come backand coach basketball for a year, Nagel said. I don't blame himfor that.