Unit 40 Board Votes to Retain Wiethop as Coach


Published on July 10 2018 9:26 pm
Last Updated on July 11 2018 7:16 am
Written by Greg Sapp


There were many hugs and some tears following word at Tuesday night's Effingham Unit 40 Board of Education meeting that Rod Wiethop would be retained as 8th grade boys basketball coach and junior high head baseball coach for the coming school year.

The decision followed a lengthy closed session involving Wiethop and local attorney Chris Koester. The Board voted unanimously in open session to retain Wiethop in both positions when approving other extra-curricular assignments for the new year.

The question of Wiethop returning as coach arose in June. Wiethop said he was summoned to talk with Unit 40 Superintendent Mark Doan about the direction of the basketball program after the announced departure of Blake Doehring as JV boys coach to take the varsity coaching job at South Central. During that conversation, Doan reportedly told Wiethop that "they wanted to go in another direction" regarding him coaching.

Wiethop's stepdaughter, Dannielle Harden, appeared before the Board at a meeting the next week and shared the information. A group of people who had become aware of the matter turned out for the meeting and a similar sized, if not larger, crowd was present Tuesday night to show their support of the coach.

When Wiethop and Koester came out of the closed session, Wiethop said that he would be retained. He said there was good discussion that corrected information about whether directives had been followed and that there will be better communication from both above and below and that things will progress well "for the betterment of the kids".

News Director Greg Sapp along with Zach Rainey of the Effingham Daily News and Herb Meeker of the Effingham-Teutopolis News Report spoke with Wiethop following the announcement that he would remain as coach, but just prior to the formal vote by the Board...

Koester was pleased with the dialogue between Wiethop and the Board and said he hopes it is "a sign of things to come with this district."

When asked about the seeming change from a move to relieve Wiethop to the decision by the Board to retain him as coach, Doan also mentioned the conversation between Wiethop and the Board, noted the Board's decision to retain Wiethop as coach, and said, "We wholeheartedly support that." Here's Greg's conversation with Mark Doan...

Wiethop said he was very gratified by the support he has received since the matter arose. 

Local resident Kenny Miller, a former coach, asked the Board following the decision what needs to be done so this doesn't happen again next year? He asked, "Do we all have to make a date for next year?" Doan responded, "I think the meeting with Coach Wiethop changed a ton of minds."

Some coaching changes were approved. Laurie Bohnhoff will return as varsity girls volleyball coach while Mindy McCollum-Boswell is on maternity leave with Colleen Westendorf remaining as assistant coach. McCollum-Boswell will serve as 8th grade volleyball coach with Bohnhoff coaching the 7th graders. Also, Erik Williamson was named high boys tennis coach. He will remain as high school girls coach.

Here's the full list of extra-curricular positions filled at Tuesday night's meeting:

Effingham Unit #40 Extra-Curricular Staff 2018-19
NAME POSITION Loc   OPEN HS Asst. Boys Track HS 
Brett Hefner HS Head Football HS   Mindy McCollum-Boswell 8th Gr. Volleyball JH
Rem Woodruff HS Head Boys Basketball HS   Laurie Bohnhoff 7th Gr. Volleyball JH
Jeff Schaefer HS Head Girls Basketball HS   Carol Babbs HS Asst. Scholar Bowl HS 
D. Trent Mason HS Band HS   Shannon Hinkle HS Spring Musical HS 
OPEN JV Boys Basketball HS   OPEN HS FB Cheerleading HS 
Aaron Witges JV Girls Basketball HS   Nicole Hetzel HS Pom Pon HS 
OPEN HS Football Coord. HS   Josh Robison JH Scholar Bowl JH
Bryan McMillan HS Wrestling HS   Carsen Funneman JH Co-Student Council JH
Chris Fleener HS Head Baseball HS   Jordan Adams JH Co-Student Council JH
OPEN HS Head Soccer HS   Sue Ann Minor JH Yearbook JH
Jerry Trigg HS Head Softball HS   Rod Wiethop JH Head Baseball JH
Jordan Jaspering HS Head Boys Track HS   Hillary Kopplin JH Head Softball JH
OPEN HS Head Girls Track HS   Alexis Holder JH Cheerleading JH
Laurie Bohnhoff HS Head Vollyball HS   Aaron Adams JH Boys 8th Gr. Track JH
Danette Williamson HS Student Council HS   OPEN JH Girls 8th Gr. Track JH
OPEN Fr Boys Basketball HS   OPEN JH Boys 7th Gr. Track JH
Obie Farmer Soph Boys Basketball HS   Christin Hartke JH Girls 7th Gr. Track JH
Troy VanBlaricum Soph Girls Basketball HS   Nancy Ervin JH Cross Country JH
Megan McDonald Fr Girls Basketball HS   Tracie Riley HS Fall Play HS 
Jordan Jaspering HS Asst. Football HS   Jeni Phillips JH Literary JH
Obie Farmer HS Asst. Football HS   Stephanie Mitchell JH Asst. Scholar Bowl JH
Aaron Adams HS Asst. Football HS   Austin Stout JH Vocal Dir. JH
OPEN HS Asst. Football HS   Rich Hirtzel JH Asst. Baseball JH
Mike McDonald HS Asst. Football HS   Lexie Niebrugge JH Asst. Softball JH
Rod Wiethop 8th Gr. Boys Basketball JH   Donna Walls JH Drama JH
Mike Depoister 8th Gr. Girls Basketball JH   Jim Hammer Community Serv. Coord. HS 
Ken Cornell 7th Gr. Boys Basketball JH   Jackie Haarmann HS FHA Sponsor HS 
Jeff Tonn 7th Gr. Girls Basketball JH   Jackie Haarmann HS Pep Club HS 
Jennifer Kirk HS X-Country HS   Sarah Wyckoff Sr. Sponsor HS 
Jerry Trigg HS Golf, Girls HS   Ty Totten JR. Sponsor HS 
Jeff Schaefer HS Golf, Boys HS   Danette Williamson Jr. Prom HS 
Erik Williamson HS Boys Tennis HS   Melissa Habing Soph Sponsor HS 
Erik Williamson HS Girls Tennis HS   Ellen Brummer Fresh. Sponsor HS 
Michael Lambton HS Chorus Dir. HS   Julie Flack JH Mustang Outreach JH
Sarah Wyckoff HS Scholar Bowl HS   Jeff Tonn VOL. Softball, Asst. HS & JH Both
Morgan Healy HS Yearbook HS   Ron Diehl VOL. Baseball HS 
Brittany Mette HS Var BB Cheerleading HS   Steve Boswell VOL. Baseball HS 
Colleen Westendorf HS Asst. Volleyball HS   Ken Cornell VOL. JH Asst. Baseball JH
Logan Andrews JH Band Dir. JH   Elizabeth Braunecker VOL. Boys/Girls Swim Coach HS 
Ty Totten HS Asst. Baseball HS   David Duncan VOL. Boys/Girls Swim Coach HS
Juan Angel HS Asst. Soccer HS   Lisa Sigg VOL. Asst. Bskbl Cheer Coach HS
Kristin Harvey HS Asst. Softball HS   Jeff Staser VOL. Basketball, Boys HS
Jennifer Kirk HS Asst. Girls Track HS    Shane Smith VOL. Football, Asst. HS
        Blake Wesselman VOL. Football, Asst. HS

The Board also acted on several other personnel items. Resignations were accepted from Jessica Barthelme as a Special Education teacher at the ELC, Bethany Donaldson as 8th grade boys track coach, Lisa Borries as a teacher at the junior high, and from Lori Mette as a Special Education teacher at Effingham High School.

Several hirings were also approved, including Lisa Thompson as a second grade teacher at Central, Jennifer Fouts as a fifth grade teacher at Central, Jennifer Kesl as a Math teacher at the high school, Weston Peno as an Art teacher at the high school, Heather Martin and Gina Buscher as Special Education teachers, and Rawle Persaud as a second shift custodian at the high school. Jeff Leasher was transferred to head custodian at the junior high school.

The Board also voted to purchase electricity from Constellation Energy through Affordable Gas and Electric for four years at 4.767 cents per kilowatt/hour. Assistant Superintendent Jason Fox thinks the decision will save the District $43,000 per year. Also approved was the purchase of a UTV from Car Corral Polaris of Flora for $9,930. The unit will replace a four-wheeler bought in 2008. There were questions asked about another unit that cost $8,000 but might have less pulling power. The vote to purchase the more expensive unit was 5-2 with Board members Patty Russell and Angie Byers voting No.