Coaching varsity basketball is something that Kelley Hanlon has wanted to do for a very long time.
She'll get her first chance this winter.
The 1988 Upper Arlington High School graduate was formally hired as the new girls' head coach at Union Local at last Thursday's board of education meeting.
"I am just excited that the (decision) is made and we can move toward getting started," Hanlon said. "I am anxious, like you wouldn't believe, to get started. I've already got a full summer schedule already planned with open gyms and shootouts."
Hanlon takes over a Lady Jets' program that's been extremely solid over the last several years under the guidance of Drew Greenwood, who stepped down following the Lady Jets' sectional loss to West Muskingum in March.
"I feel very lucky to get in on what Coach Greenwood's left behind," Hanlon said. "I've inherited a very good program."
Hanlon played both basketball and softball collegiately at Marietta after helping her alma mater win its only girls' basketball state championship as a senior. She earned her degree in physical education and health, however, from Muskingum and is currently teaching at New Horizon in a success program, which is through Union Local.
Since moving to the Ohio Valley in 1992, Hanlon has coached for 15 years, but never above the eighth grade level.
"I don't have any real concerns," Hanlon said. "I am excited to get with this program and do what I've been looking forward to doing for about 20 years. It's been a dream of mine to coach and all I've ever wanted to do is take my team to the level of success that I was fortunate enough to experience (in high school)."
UL hoop fans can expect to see an up-tempo squad from Hanlon's Lady Jets.
Hanlon and her husband Ted, who reside in Barnesville, have four children. Gage is a Barnesville graduate, while Lane is set to graduate in a few weeks. Avery will be a sophomore next season at Barnesville and the couple's youngest is a daughter, Regan.
"We've had a lot of family discussions about this and my family supports me totally," Hanlon said.
Avery Hanlon will be a member of the Lady Shamrocks' basketball squad in the winter, meaning those two head-to-head meetings with the Lady Jets could take on even more importance than they already have.
"When I first thought about applying, I looked at the schedules and it turns out there are seven games when we won't be playing at Union Local (not counting the two meetings between the teams)," Kelley Hanlon said. "I've committed to Union Local and this is a job I look forward to doing long term."
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