Arnett Bodenhamer has been fired as Stewarts Creek boys basketball coach less than a week after The Daily News Journal reported that the program was forced to forfeit all eight of its wins after playing an ineligible player.
Stewarts Creek principal Clark Harrell told The DNJ that Bodenhamer has been “relieved of his coaching duties” at the first-year school in southwest Smyrna. Harrell added that Bodenhamer has not been fired as a teacher at the school.
Stewarts Creek self-reported to the TSSAA last month that an athlete not zoned for the school had participated this past season for the Red Hawks. The program forfeited all of its wins and was fined $250 after the infraction. One of those wins included a win over Riverdale in the District 7-AAA tournament. The ineligible student had an athletic record at Smyrna High. When Stewarts Creek opened, all students zoned for the new school were allowed to participate in TSSAA sports immediately.
Harrell, though, insisted that was not the deciding factor that came in his decision to making a coaching change after just one season. Bodenhamer is a teacher within Stewarts Creek’s health and physical education department.
“No, that in and in itself is not the reason,” Harrell said. He did not elaborate on what led to coaching change.
Bodenhamer chose not to comment at this time when reached by cell phone on Friday afternoon.
Harrell said a new coach may be in place by the time the team begins summer team camps.
“I think once we get to rolling, I think we’ll get the person we need to,” Harrell said. “Obviously, for the sake of making the transition as smooth as possible, for our parents and students, we’ll do this as quickly as possible. I don’t see any delay.”
Bodenhamer coached one season at Columbia, coach the girls team to a District 8-AAA title and Region 4-AAA semifinal appearance, before leaving for Stewarts Creek. He had been an assistant for the Oakland boys basketball and football teams from 2011-12. He also was an past assistant at Independence from 2010-11. He had been a head boys coach at Liberty Tech, Covington and Maplewood in the past.