Veteran coach takes South Decatur hoops job

Two years ago,

was approached by people at South Decatur to gauge his interest in returning to basketball coaching.

Wildey, who at that point was new in his role as superintendent of Columbus Christian School, was hesitant about taking the South Decatur job. That eventually went to Bryan Dixon.

With Dixon having taken a teaching job at Greensburg, the boys basketball position became open again, and again, South Decatur reached out to Wildey. This time, he accepted.

“I wasn’t looking to necessarily get back into basketball,” Wildey said. “I love coaching, and I love basketball. South Decatur had a situation where they were out of coaching at the start of the school year, and a couple people reached out to see if I’d be willing to consider it. I prayed about it a lot, and I just kept feeling led to it.”

South Decatur principal Jim Jameson and athletics director Willard Rice met with Wildey. They talked about some possibilities and tried to map out a plan that would work out for both sides.

Wildey will remain in his role with Columbus Christian and as associate pastor at East Columbus Christian Church.

“I’m very committed to Columbus Christian School, and if something would come up that I needed to take care of there, that would be the first priority,” Wildey said. “One of the things I wanted to do was run it by my school board and run it by my elders at church. They all thought it was a great outreach, a great possibility.”

A Jennings County native, Wildey began his coaching career as an assistant with the Panthers before taking head coaching jobs at Waldron and Rushville. He returned to Jennings in 1990 and won five sectional and two regional titles in nine years at the helm.

Wildey had to give up coaching basketball when he became principal at Jennings County in 1999. He was assistant superintendent from 2008-12 before coming to Columbus Christian in 2012.

In the meantime, Wildey also coached softball at Jennings in three different stints over a 20-year period, twice taking the Panthers to the final four in Class 4A. He coached softball at Columbus Christian this spring.

“He’s been very successful,” Rice said. “We’re very lucky to have Kendall.”

Wildey, who played baseball at West Virginia, still lives in Jennings County. He was pastor at a church in Jennings County until taking the associate pastor position at East Columbus Christian Church 2 1/2 years ago.

Wildey said he doesn’t mind the time commitment from having multiple roles.

“I’ve always kind of been wired to be busy,” Wildey said. “A lot of people don’t always agree with that. A lot of people don’t always like juggling all the plates at the circus, but I like staying busy.”

Senior selling t-shirts

Columbus North’s Sept. 15 home football contest against Terre Haute South will be a Coaches vs. Cancer game.

Jenna Borger, who is coordinating the event for her senior project, will be selling t-shirts at the game and at school next week for $10.

To make a donation, or for more information, contact Borger at jennaborger@gmail.com.

Tennis match rescheduled

The Center Grove at Columbus North boys tennis match, which was rained out on Saturday, has been rescheduled.

The match now will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at North.

Lancers hosting scramble

Edinburgh boys basketball will have a golf scramble at noon Oct. 1 at Clifty Creek Golf Course.

Cost is $50 per player or $200 per team and includes greens fees, cart and dinner. All proceeds will benefit the Lancer boys basketball team and will go toward helping provide team meals, travel expenses, tournament fees and opportunities for less fortunate families.

For more information on the event, contact coach Keith Witty at 812-526­-5501 or kwitty@ecsc.k12.in.us.