For the second straight season the Harlan High School boys basketball program is searching for a new coach. Although that search began just days ago, there has already been a large amount of interest in the position.
“We have had 12 people to inquire. We have received interest locally, from throughout the state and other states,” said Harlan Athletic Director Kevin Ball. “We haven’t set up interviews yet, but we hope to move quickly. We could start scheduling interviews before this week is over. My goal is to have a decision by May 21.”
An early favorite to land the position could be current girls coach Derrick Akal, who applied for the boys job on Monday.
“I have really enjoyed working with the girls program, and it was absolutely a tough decision to apply for the boys position,” Akal said. “It is just an opportunity, and I if got the job it would be a challenge I look forward to.”
Akal has experienced success in his two seasons as the coach of the girls squad. During that time the Lady Dragons have complied a 39-23 record, with two 13th Region All ‘A’ titles and a 52nd District championship in 2011.
He began his coaching career in the fall of 2001 as an assistant at Cumberland High School. He was on Bill Scott’s staff when the Redskins won the 13th Region championship in 2003 and was an assistant under Jerry Edwards when Cumberland won an All “A” Classic regional title in 2007. He spent seven years as an assistant at Cumberland and moved on to Mike Jones’ staff at Harlan County High School after the merger of Cumberland, Cawood and Evarts high schools in 2008.