Harden reverses Fairmont decision, will stay at Fairfield

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Harden reverses Fairmont decision, will stay at Fairfield

Mark Harden has reversed his decision to accept the boys varsity basketball position at Fairmont High School and instead will remain as athletic director at Fairfield.

Harden told Kettering officials on Friday that he would not leave Fairfield. Just this past Tuesday the Kettering Board of Education accepted the recommendations that Harden be hired as the boys varsity basketball coach and Lacy Romine as the girls varsity basketball coach. Like Romine, Harden was expected to accept an English-teaching position at the high school and begin the coming school year.

Harden indicated it was a family decision that led to his change of mind.

“After taking a couple of days and getting some more information it came down to a family decision that it’s best to stay (at Fairfield),” he said Saturday.

“It certainly is no reflection on Kettering or anything. It was simply more information that we gathered. Right now for me and my family it’s best for me to stay in my current position, which I’m happy to do.”

Fairmont AD Chris Weaver was unavailable for comment.

Harden, 41, said he had not submitted a resignation as AD at Fairfield. He also said he has been in contact with Fairfield administrators and expects to remain as AD there.

A Vandalia-Butler graduate, Harden has an extensive coaching background but has been in the administrative role of AD at Fairfield since 2009-10.

The Fairmont boys position opened when longtime coach Hank Bias resigned following last season.

The naming of Harden and Romine on the same day was similar to how Fairmont lost both of its boys and girls varsity head basketball coaches on the same day.

First Bias, then Fairmont girls coach Tim Cogan resigned their coaching positions within a couple hours of each other on April 13. Bias indicated that he was leaving coaching and planned to be a motivational speaker, likely out of state. Cogan accepted the boys varsity position at Carroll and will remain at Fairmont as a physical education teacher.

Fairmont won the Division I girls state basketball championship last March with Cogan as coach.

Harden’s reversal was another unforeseen twist to the area boys coaching fraternity last week. On Thursday veteran Northmont boys coach Jim Brown said a fraudulent resignation not approved by him was presented to that school board. The document was not accepted and has since been withdrawn.

Brown said he would not return as the Northmont head coach as long as AD/assistant principal Robin Spiller and high school principal George Caras remain in their positions.

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