Mingo Central Miners Basketball Coach Duane Estep barks orders to his team during the season-ending loss to Tug Valley on February 29 at the Logan Memorial Fieldhouse. Estep yesterday emailed his resignation as coach to Mingo Central Principal Deborah Harris. The Miners finished 13-11 in their initial year as a team. Mingo Central is a consolidation of Matewan, Burch, Williamson and Gilbert high schools. (Photo | Michael Browning)
NEWTOWN — The Mingo Central High School Miners basketball team will be looking for a new head coach soon.
Less than two weeks after the Miners’ season ended with a 17-point loss to Tug Valley in the sectional tournament, MCHS head Coach Duane Estep has tendered his resignation.
Estep, the first hoops coach of the newly-consolidated school, sent an email to Principal Deborah Harris early Tuesday morning saying he was resigning, according to Assistant Principal and Athletics Director Gordon Carter.
Estep also told Harris he would not be returning to his teaching position, either, Carter said.
“We’re back to the drawing board,” Carter said in a phone interview late last night from his Gilbert home. “Mrs. Harris said he sent her an email about 4:30 or 5 a.m. saying he had resigned or that he quit. I guess he said he wasn’t coming back to the school because she was looking for a replacement (teacher) for him.”
Carter said Estep, a physical education teacher at Mingo Central, was planning to move back to Lincoln County. He has been living in Delbarton since the start of school. Estep is a former coach at Harts High School, Guyan Valley and Riverside. He had been working at West Hamlin Grade School before coming to Mingo County.
Carter said that nothing is official until the Mingo County Board of Education signs off on Estep’s resignation.
“He still has to send a letter to the board and they will have to approve it,” Carter said. “They may not let him out of his contract. Right now, it’s not official, but he did tell Mrs. Harris he was quitting.”
Estep had already resigned his softball coaching position earlier in basketball season.
The Miners, which were a senior-heavy team loaded with talent from Williamson, Burch, Gilbert and Matewan, finished with a lackluster 13-11 record and suffered a three-game, clean sweep by county rival Tug Valley and a loss to Class A Man.
Estep was the only out-of-county coach hired at the consolidated school. All other coaches at the new school were hired in-county from the schools being consolidated.
A phone number for Estep was not available Tuesday night on deadline.
Reportedly, several high-profile coaches are already interested in the job.
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.