Todd Fitch has landed on his feet quite nicely.
The veteran college football coach was on the staff at South Florida the last several years, but found himself seeking a job after USF dismissed its coaching staff last month.
Earlier this week, Fitch, who is a Bellaire High graduate, was hired as wide receivers coach at Boston College under newly hired head coach Steve Addazio.
It didn't take Fitch long to hit the recruiting trail back to the Ohio Valley. He was in attendance at Friday's St. Clairsville vs. Union Local boys basketball game to watch B.C. commit Dan Monteroso play for the Red Devils.
Along with USF, Fitch has worked at East Carolina, Iowa State, South Carolina, Connecticut, Colorado State, Bowling Green and his collegiate alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan.
Todd's brother, Dirk, is the superintendent of the Martins Ferry City School District.
We'll have more on Fitch's hiring in the coming weeks.
POTTS MAKES DECISION
Former River High standout Dylan Potts has decided that he's transferring to West Liberty University. Potts begins classes on the hilltop Monday and will be with the Hilltoppers' football team for spring practice.
Potts will be a candidate at wide receiver after leaving the University of Akron last month. He sat out most of the 2012 campaign with injury and took a medical redshirt. He'll have two years of eligibily remaining with the Hilltoppers.
Potts talked to six other schools during the month of December, but the decision to become a Hilltopper was made easy.
"The other five schools were pretty far away and I after I visited West Liberty and talked to the coaches, I knew I wanted to go there," Potts said via text message.
ST. C. NATIVE
Late last year, St. Clairsville High School graduate Troy Kyle (Class of 1994) completed his first Ironman, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon (26.2 mile) run, in 10 hours, 59 minutes and 26 seconds. He placed 373rd out of more than 3,000 entrants.
Kyle, who currently resides in Hilliard with his wife Kristen and two children (Ella and Logan), completed the swim in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 9 seconds. He finished the bike ride in 5 hours, 27 minutes and 59 seconds. He crossed the finish line for the run in 4 hours, 12 minutes and 20 seconds.
The former Red Devils' track standout told us via email that his main motivation for wanting to complete in 'Ironman' is because he could.
"At first it sounds conceited, but what I mean is there are several people out there who would love to ride their bike a hundred miles one time, but can't due to physical reasons whether it be cancer, paralyzed, etc.," Kyle said. "I have the ability, so I want to take advantage while I have it. I also do it to motivate people."
Troy is the son of Tom and Patti Kyle, who still reside in St. Clairsville.
OHSAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The monthly meeting of the OHSAA Board was held last Thursday in Columbus at OHSAA headquarters.
Some very interesting news came out of that. Obviously, the biggest was the decision to play one state final on Thursday and three on both Friday and Saturday starting this year as the OHSAA expands to seven divisions.
It'll be interesting to see if the division that's placed on Thursday plays its entire tournament on Thursday or just the final. If it's just the final, some of the coaches may not be pleased about the biggest game of the season being played on a short week.
Another interesting tidbit is how cross country will be counted in the coming years. The boys and girls' enrollments will be added together and then divided in half to determine the athletic count and divisional placement. The move was made because too many teams were having split divisions and therefore districts and regionals, making it tough on the coaches.
The OHSAA Board approved two individuals to receive meritorious service awards in which the OHSAA will make a donation in their names to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
One of those individuals is former River High head basketball coach Dick Potts, who won 589 games in 40 seasons of coaching. He also had stops at now defunct Bethel and Skyvue High Schools.
Kudos to everyone involved who got this deal done for the two schools to play in Week 3 of the football season in both 2013 and 2014.
This is a game that should be played and one that will prove highly beneficial to both schools both at the ticket booth and on the field.
Let's be honest, the fact that this should be a big game in terms of crowd and tickets is the ultimate selling point. In today's economy of high school sports, football is and will always be king. Matchups of local teams that are separated by less than five miles can only do big things for attendance.
We're glad to see both sides step up to the plate and make this happen. We realize football scheduling is tough for a bevy of reasons, but this game was a slam dunk.
SPEAKING OF wrestling, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference's 60th annual Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament will open Thursday at WesBanco Arena in downtown Wheeling. The coaches are actually at the arena this morning setting the brackets and seeds for the three-day mat event, which will conclude Saturday night. You can get set for the event on Wednesday with The Times Leader's annual OVAC Wrestling Preview supplement.
WE RECEIVED A copy of Dr. Bill Welker's 'The Wrestling Drill Book' second edition in the mail late last week. It was nice to see so many former area wrestlers used in the demonstrations. Some of the area products who were featured include: Josh Sokolowski, Nathan Kirk, Matt Shurina and Doug Eddy.
THIS WEEKEND'S OVAC Tournament kicks off five straight Saturdays of championship events for the winter sports. After wrestling, swimming takes center stage on Jan. 26, cheering on Feb. 2, girls basketball on Feb. 9 and boys basketball on Feb. 16.
CONGRATULATIONS ARE in order for two area coaches. Both Harrison Central head basketball coach Justin Clifford and Martins Ferry wrestling coach Scott Roth learned they'll be fathers to little girls in the coming months.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at TLSportsSeth