NORTH VERNON — Two games into Mike Broughton’s heralded return to the bench, the Jennings County boys basketball coach is taking a step back.
Jennings Superintendent Terry Sargent announced Wednesday that, due to medical concerns, Broughton was temporarily stepping down as coach and will work when he can as a varsity assistant and on a limited basis as athletics director.
“I have some medical issues that doctors told me have to be attended to,” Broughton said. “I just have to cut down on the schedule that I have.”
He declined to discuss the nature of the medical concerns.
“It’s just things that have happened in the last few days that I have to deal with medically,” Broughton said. “It’s just things that over the last three or four days haven’t been too good.
“I kept having trouble, and finally, I went to see some doctors,” he said. “It’s an issue that hopefully within a couple months can get rectified. I have to cut down on my schedule.”
Varsity assistant Joe Hartwell is now the acting head coach. Broughton is acting varsity assistant but said he probably won’t be back on the bench until around the end of January.
Broughton, 57, is in his 36th year of coaching at the high school and collegiate levels. He is 351-146 in his 22nd year as an Indiana high school coach and was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in April.
His 700th career game came in last week’s season- opener, when the Panthers lost 58-55 at New Palestine. Jennings rebounded with a 68-45 win against East Central on Saturday.
“I’m proud of my kids,” said Broughton, who led Jeffersonville to the 1993 state championship. “I’m proud of the way they’ve worked the first two games. I’ve really had fun here at the beginning of the season, and these health issues are something that have crept up that I’ve had to deal with.”
Hartwell has been an assistant coach and had two one-year stints as head coach at South Decatur. Bill Lane will continue as the junior varsity coach and will have varsity responsibilities.
“And then I’m going to help out when I can,” Broughton said.