Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Jhonna Basil has been named the first female assistant athletic director in the history of Edmonson County High School, according to ECHS Principal Jonathan Williams.
Basil, an English teacher at ECHS, was also a former multi-sport student athlete at ECHS, playing softball, basketball, and golf, where she graduated in 2016.
Ms. Basil said she is excited for the new opportunity within ECHS athletics.
"I was always an athlete myself, and it has been a big part of my life," she said. "I loved representing Edmonson County High School as an athlete, so it will be a great privilege to get to represent ECHS athletics again in this role."
Newly named head boys basketball coach Brad Johnson was also recently named the interim athletic director to complete the current school year. That's just one of many changes in a shuffling of positions at ECHS due to the departing A.D. Kyle Pierce, who was recently named head football coach at Barren County High, as well as the departing boys basketball coach, Coach Mike McClintic, who is retiring after 43 years in coaching. Coach Mac was also the assistant athletic director. Williams said filling positions left by quality leaders like Pierce and McClintic can be challenging, but he's thankful that things have gone well so far.
"We are fortunate to have the opportunity to hire people as talented as Coach Johnson and Coach Basil to lead our athletic programs going forward," he said. "She excelled as an athlete and as a student, was a very successful college student, and now is doing an exceptional job for us in the classroom. I'm thankful to have good, moral, respectable young ladies like Ms. Basil for our kids to look up to. As a Principal, you want to hire the very best to work with our kids and she is that, one of the best."
Throughout Basil's five years of varsity sports, she made four trips to the region tournament in basketball and won two softball district tournaments, in 2013 and 2016. She also became an assistant softball coach at ECHS after her playing days came to an end.
Williams said he's looking forward to where her leadership takes her.
"Ms. Basil is getting the opportunity to learn from one of the best in Coach Johnson and I am very excited about the direction they'll be leading our athletic programs."
Basil will officially begin her role on July 1, 2021. She said she's spent over half her life in sports and she looks forward to continuing that in a new role at ECHS.
"I think we have the best kids in the state, and I’m happy to do anything and everything I can for them," she said. "This is just a wonderful opportunity for me, and I am very happy and thankful to have been given the opportunity."