By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Jason Cole has stepped down as girls basketball coach at Exeter High School after 10 seasons to accept the position of principal at Joel E. Barber Elementary in Lebanon.
Brandon Weiss, who’s been at Clever for three years after a highly successful two seasons with Miller and Hannah Wilkerson, is Cole’s replacement with the Ozark 7 Conference Tigers.
Cole said Thursday night the move didn’t close the door on coaching.
“Definitely, I can see myself coaching again at the high school level,” Cole said. “I still like to coach. Right now, though, there’s no coaching.”
Cole, a 1995 graduate of Washburn Southwest High School, has degrees from Missouri Southern and Lindenwood of St. Charles, Mo.
The decade at Exeter included nearly 200 wins, 10 straight winning seasons and a MSHSAA Class 1 championship in 2008-09. The champions, powered by Whitney Edie, were 30-1.
“Those 10 years were pretty good,” Cole said. “I appreciated the support of the community and administration. There were times we exceeded expectations.
“Last season was very satisfying as a coach,” Cole said. “Those players were terrific with their half-court defense. It was thought we might struggle to win five games after losing more than 95 percent of the scoring.
“I’m confident the program will be very strong this coming season with freshmen that finished 13-0 coming in to challenge for starting positions and playing time,” Cole said. “They — those freshmen are very talented — will mix with four returning varsity starters and two players off the bench.”
Cole, who also finished at Exeter as its athletic director, guided the volleyball team to 26 wins in 2008 and the baseball team to 12 wins in 2004 for single-season Tiger records to join the 2008-09 basketball team.
Cole is married to the former Tracie Burns, also a Southwest graduate, and they have two children — Kylee, 6, and Kaden, 5.