By Chris Chaney
The Clermont Northeastern Lady Rockets basketball team will have a new general patrolling the sidelines beginning with the 2013-14 season as former Blanchester boys’ basketball coach Mark Short takes over the reigns of the program.
“I was nonrenewed at Blan, which is the life of the coach,” Short said. “I still wanted to coach and felt like we had done a good job (at Blanchester). With CNE being in the same league, you get info about openings, so I applied there. I had contacts (at the school) and hoped that over the years, I had gained somewhat of a good reputation. So, I applied there and was offered the job.”
Short applied for both the boys’ and girls’ openings, but happened at such a time as the Rockets’ administration had already made plans to offer the boys’ job to Darnell Parker. Undeterred, Short was happy to get the offer for the girls’ head coaching position.
Short has been coaching since he was 20 years old in the Little Miami District, beginning with middle school kids and steadily moving his way up the ladder to coach the girls’ varsity team from 2000-2008.
From there, Short made his name at Blanchester, leading the 2009-10 version of the Wildcats to their first league title since the 1951-52 season. For his efforts, Short was named the Ohio Division III Coach of the Year.
In subsequent years at Blan, Short led the Wildcats to another league title in 2011-12 and finished runner-up to Williamsburg in the year between titles.
Short will be replacing Jason Kreimer who is taking some time away from coaching to spend more time with his young family.
The Lady Rockets are a program on the rise, significantly improving their win-loss record over the past two seasons. Short is excited to get into the gym and try to continue that growth and success.
“It’s my understanding that we have some pretty nice athletes coming up on the girls’ side and I’m looking forward to working with them,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what we can build here. We know what’s ahead of us, playing Georgetown, who’s won the league the last 13 years, and we’re going to try to reach that level.”
Short said that given the dynamic of the SBC and the size of schools that participate, it’s more important to put an emphasis on personnel as opposed to trying to run a set offense or defense year after year. Short has been on both ends of the spectrum, coaching more of a system at Little Miami and then acquiescing to the talents available at Blanchester.
“From what I hear, we have some athletes coming and some quickness,” Short said. “We’re looking to run a fast-paced style. That could all change, but that’s the idea. We want to make it an up tempo game where the fans will like it and the kids will like it.“