Longtime Jay County boys basketball coach Craig Teagle spoke positively about his tenure leading the Patriots, a stint that lasted almost two decades. He said things were so good there, he considered finishing his coaching career in Portland. Instead, he said he was given an offer he just couldn’t refuse and opted for a new challenge.
Teagle was approved as the new coach at Huntington North on Wednesday. He went 250-137 in 17 seasons at Jay County, won five sectional titles and led the team to an appearance in the 2006 Class 3A state tittle game, the program’s lone run that far. He replaces Rob Irwin, who went 32-37 in three seasons with the Vikings. Teagle is taking over a program that last won a sectional in 2001.
“I’m not sure there was anything specific, I just thought it was a great challenge and a great opportunity,” Teagle said. “I think they’ve only won one sectional the last 15 years, and I think that they’re hungry to build something. I’ve been at Jay County for 17 great years, the community and the kids have been awesome. But it was just that time. It was time to move on and see if we could build something somewhere else.”
In making this move, Teagle is not going to particularly unfamiliar territory. Jay County and Huntington North have been in the same sectional in recent years, and the two schools will be in the same Class 4A sectional in the upcoming season, a sectional that will also include Central.
Huntington North is coming off a 10-13 campaign last season, the Vikings’ last in the North Central Conference. Huntington North will begin play in the Northeast Eight Conference in Teagle’s inaugural season.
Teagle went 18-7 in his last season at Jay County, finishing a tenure he described as “unbelievable.”
“The kids I coached were outstanding young men, always gave us great effort, great attitudes,” Teagle said. “The community, one of the most supportive communities basketball-wise you could find. Always coming out to games, always going to give the kids great support. My administration was always great, always backed our decisions and always believed in what we were doing. I have not one negative thing to say about Jay County.”
Contact prep sports reporter Sam Wilson at (765) 213-5807. Follow him on Twitter @SamWilsonTSP.