Persin may be going home

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 17, 2006

OAK HILL — Bon Jovi has the right theme song for Norm Persin, “Who says you can’t go home?”

After 23 seasons coaching at Wilmington and Chesapeake, Persin may be returning to Oak Hill High School as the boys head basketball coach.

Late Sunday, Persin said he would make a decision and inform both schools by Monday morning.

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Persin began his coaching career at Oak Hill. In six seasons, the Oaks won three Ohio Valley Conference championships. Persin won 16 OVC titles at Chesapeake including the last 11 seasons.

Persin has a 513-134 record. He has guided the Panthers to nine regional appearances.

The Oaks have won only seven games in the last three years.

“It’s been a really tough decision. It’s hard to leave some place after 21 years,” Persin said. “I’ve went back and forth with this.”

One factor in Persin’s decision was travel. Persin, 55, drives from his home in Oak Hill to Chesapeake every day.

“It’s an hour drive to Chesapeake and an hour home. That’s a lot of time and gas,” Persin said.

Persin was the Associated Press Division III Coach of the Year during the 2003-04 season and has been named the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Coach of theYear on three occasions (1989, 1992, 1997).

The Panthers were voted Associated Press poll champions in 1991 and 1992 with back-to-back 20-0 regular seasons.

The University of Rio Grande graduate is a member of the Warren High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Persin, who is involved in the Ohio-West Virginia and Ohio-Kentucky all-star games, was presented the Paul A. Walker Award at the 2002 state tournament for his overall service to high school basketball.

Persin will teach Social Studies and also serve as athletic director.

Possible replacements for Persin are assistant coaches Sam Gue, Bryan Wells and John McClung.