GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Stone resigns as Bardstown coach

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By Peter W. Zubaty, Sports Editor

Girls’ head basketball coach Paul Stone has stepped down from his position, Bardstown school officials announced Wednesday.

“After careful consideration and a lot of thoughtful reflection, I decided to step down as girls’ basketball coach at Bardstown High School,” Stone said.

Stone, who is also the head softball coach, said that with the tight turnaround between basketball and softball seasons — some Kentucky schools began their softball season Wednesday, the same day as the beginning of the girls’ Sweet 16 basketball tournament — the move would allow him to spend more practice time building the Tiger softball program.

“It’s hard to work with one team when you’re (coaching) another” at the same time, he said.

New rules put into place this school year by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association permit more of a year-round practice schedule in softball.

“Coaching two sports … was really a strain, and it was really tough to commit my 100 percent efforts to either one, and I felt like it was best for me and both programs to give one of them up, so I resigned on Monday,” he said.

Bardstown athletic director David Clark said the school will post the job opening on the Kentucky High School Athletics Association’s website in the next few days and they would accept applications for a 30-day period.

“We’re looking for an applicant, preferably, someone with experience and who will be an active member of our community and embrace Bardstown High School,” Clark said.

Stone’s basketball Tigers wrapped up the 2011-12 season with an 11-18 record, falling in the first round of the 19th District tournament to Washington County, 44-37. Stone’s top team in his 11-year run was the 2007-08 Tigers, who went 25-6, the best record in school history, won the district title and advanced to the semifinals of the All A Classic state tournament. He guided three Bardstown squads to the 5th Region tournament, doubling the school’s previous number of region trips, and his teams won three All A Classic 5th Region titles. Stone coached four of the top five teams in Bardstown school history in terms of single-season win totals.

“He had a lot of successful seasons,” Clark said.

Stone said he spoke with his team Wednesday before the announcement was made official to inform them of his decision.

“I told them I really enjoyed coaching them and had a really great year, I felt like, with them,” he said. “I’m going to miss it.”

Stone tallied a 135-165 career record as Tiger coach. The position was the Scott County native’s first head coaching post after serving seven years as a boys’ assistant coach at Central Hardin.

“It was just a really great experience and I’m thankful for Bardstown giving me a chance to be a head basketball coach,” he said, but “it’s just time to move on to a different phase.”