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Graves: Basketball job an 'intimidating position'

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sports Mitchell, 57301
The Daily Republic
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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

On Friday, Mitchell School District Superintendent Joe Graves acknowledged there will be pressure with taking the high school varsity basketball position.

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The deadline to apply for the position has passed, and Graves said the intimidation of following in former coach Gary Munsen's footsteps has made for a small field to choose from. Graves said the district received between eight and 12 applicants.

"We've gotten pretty serious applicants," he said. "If we had an assistant position open, that's the kind of thing you can use people without experience. This is a pretty intimidating position."

Munsen coached the Kernels' varsity since 1973 and retired following the conclusion of the season that ended at the Class AA state tournament two weeks ago.

In Munsen's tenure, the team missed five state tournaments and finished runner-up the past two seasons. Munsen led the school to nine boys' state championships.

Mitchell High School Athletic Director Geoff Gross said the interview process has already begun and around half of the applicants will receive interviews.

Graves said the school district is not going to give out any names of applicants.

"We've got people who have positions elsewhere who haven't informed their employers, and we're trying to respect that," he said.

Graves added that no official timetable has been set as to when the position will be filled, but he expects the decision to be made in the next couple of weeks.

As far as whether the coach will also teach in the district, Graves sees advantages both ways.

"The advantage of having someone who is coaching and teaching is that the person would have more hours and accessibility to the students," he said. "The advantage the other way is that it's convenient for the school district. When we have a teaching and coaching position, we have to find someone who is great at both."

Graves said he has stayed out of the hiring process and has allowed Gross to take over with the committee he set up. Gross declined to comment who is on the committee.

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