PARKERSBURG - The on-again, off-again appointment of Donna Dixon to be the head wrestling coach at Parkersburg South High School is on again.
Dixon's appointment has been placed on the agenda for next Tuesday's meeting of the Wood County Board of Education, school officials confirmed.
That meeting - which will take place at the Jefferson Elementary Center auditorium -will occur eight days after approximately 100 persons packed the Wood County Schools building to debate the issue. Last Monday's meeting resulted in Dixon's appointment which was on the agenda not to be brought to a vote. After board member Tad Wilson made a motion to take the vote, his action died for lack of a second.
Now, sources say details were worked out during a Thursday morning telephone conference that likely will pave the way for Dixon to become West Virginia's first female head wrestling coach in the history of the sport, which started conducting official state championships in 1948.
Dixon, a science teacher at Parkersburg South, was one of four teachers to apply for the position following the retirement of veteran coach Paul Jackson who guided the Patriots to nine state championships, including the last four. She had indicated during her interview she intended to retain the assistant coaches who served under Jackson. That would include her husband, Kevin. Other staff members listed on the Parkersburg South home page on wvmat.com include Gary Porter, David Jeffrey, Jeremy Layner, Dean Moore, Chris Hill, Kenney Richards, Chad Porter and Chris Smith.
Dixon was rated the top applicant for the position by Parkersburg South administrators, who recommended her appointment. In doing so, they passed over former South state champion, assistant coach and head coach Dan Clevenger, who also teaches at the school.
At last Monday's school board meeting, not only did Clevenger address the board, but so did several members of his family as well as others who supported his candidacy. Dixon also garnered support, including defending South state champion Lance Hill, who told the board members that Dixon had the support of the returning members of the wrestling team.
Since Monday's meeting, Internet chatter among South wrestlers has included talk of transferring to crosstown rival Parkersburg High School.
At Monday's meeting, one former South wrestler who did just that his senior year, Chris Daggett, strongly urged the wrestlers not to follow in his footsteps.
That meeting resulted in two board members openly criticizing the way South administrators handled the position. Wilson said he was "disappointed'' in the South administration while Jim Fox went so far as to use the phrase "usurping state law.'' Both South principal Tom Eschbacher and athletics director Rick Leach were in attendance.