After Kyle Boze abruptly resigned from coaching the girls basketball team in July, Fairmont was forced to re-post the job and do a second round of interviewing.
Former Oakwood girls head coach Jeremey Finn was hired in August and began his coaching duties immediately.
“I am very excited and also very thankful for the opportunity to coach in a program full of tradition and excellence,” Finn said.
The school year had already started when Finn was hired due to Boze’s unexpected resignation because of health issues.
“I was born with a congenital heart disease, and what that basically means is I have stuff on my heart,” Boze said. “It is stuff that is fixable if you are willing to go through heart surgery.”
According to Boze, at the end of May he got sent home after having blood pressure issues and chest pains. His issues lingered throughout the summer and it wasn’t until late July that he knew it was serious.
“I was on a 24-hour heart monitor and the results weren’t great,” he said.
Although Boze’s coaching stint was short, he wants the best for the girls, the program and the new coach. He said he is fortunate to be in a district that understood the challenges he was going through and knew where he was coming from.
“The hardest part after resigning is that you still see those girls in the hallway and in the classroom and you aren’t able to still coach them,” Boze said.
Despite getting a late start, Finn is eager to begin preparing for the upcoming season with a very talented and high-profile team.
“Our goals are to compete at a high level in everything we do. We also want to go about doing everything the right way,” Finn said.
The Birds finished 17-9 last season, falling to Lakota West in the District Finals. Finn has seven returning varsity players on his roster.
Although new to the girls program, Finn was on the Fairmont boys basketball coaching staff from 2005 to 2009.
“I was a part of the very first game at Trent Arena and will never forget that first evening against Alter with a packed house,” he said.
After deciding to take a break from coaching, Finn became the Dean of students and assistant principal of Spinning Hills Middle School as well as a fifth grade teacher. In 2009, he was hired on as the head boys basketball coach at Stebbins High School. After seven years there, he became the head girls coach at Oakwood High School.
Finn commented on how tough it can be telling a school and a group of players that you are leaving for a different job; however, he is eager to return and be apart of the Fairmont Firebirds again.
“To be able to come back and be a part of this program is very special,” he said.