WELLSTON – Wellston varsity girls’ basketball head coach Scot Sturgill made a surprising announcement he is resigning from his position immediately.

After mulling over his decision for a while, Sturgill confirmed his departure on Thursday, ending an 11-year run at the helm that ended with an 82-163 record and a sectional championship, including the team’s first district runner-up finish during the 2013-14 season.

“30-plus years of my life, I have been involved with Wellston basketball, boys and girls,” Sturgill said. “I remember Coach (Jim) Derrow always told me I would know when you reach that pinnacle in your career. I have always gone off what I know and what I was taught, and I finally felt like we hit the pinnacle on the girls side.

“We have a great group of girls coming back with probably one of the best freshman classes coming up. The girls basketball program will be perfectly fine. It is in 1,000 percent better shape now from when I took it over.”

Wellston Athletic Director Jeff Hendershott said he was shocked when he got Coach Sturgill’s resignation on Thursday morning, especially after he was just hired Monday night for the 2020-21 season.

“As soon as I received it I called him to find out what was going on,” said Hendershott. “We had a good conversation.  He was very complimentary of me and I certainly thanked him for coaching and everything he did for the girls program.

“Coach Sturgill took the girls program to places it had never seen - back-to-back seasons with the school record for wins, a sectional championship, a district runner-up, and the first female in school history to score over 1,000 career points.  He can be very proud as he steps away of those accomplishments. I was looking forward to seeing him get to 100 career wins with the program in the next season or two. I’m very appreciative of his dedication and commitment to the girls program over the last decade.”

Taking over as the interim head coach during the 2009-10 season, the Lady Rockets went 41-45 over Sturgill’s first four years, while breaking the school record for the most wins in a single season with 13 in 2011-2012.

Despite finishing with a 10-13 record in 2013-14, the Lady Rockets reached the district championship game for the first time in school history, led by a pair of juniors.

“Going into the next season, we had two of the best basketball players in Southeastern Ohio returning. However, three of my players had torn ACL’s before the season started,” Sturgill said.

Sturgill, a 1999 graduate of Wellston High School, spent 12 seasons in the Lady Rockets’ basketball program, including 11 as head coach.

He cited during a media interview with The Telegram, stress, and burnout as the reason he is stepping aside but said he would be around.

“I am a basketball coach. That is what I do,” said Sturgill. “Sometimes, it is good to take a step back.

“I am proud of the product we’ve put on the court, before and after the games, and how we always conducted ourselves.”

Under Sturgill’s guidance, the Lady Rockets snapped losing streaks against the likes of Alexander and Athens in the TVC, as well as Jackson and Oak Hill.

“There are so many people to thank, but the biggest thank you goes to the parents. They stood behind me from the 2010 class to the 2020 class,” he said. “But the biggest thing I am most proud of is the support we had.

“Overall, I am proud of our program and every kid who has played for me. Each one of them knows how I feel about them. That is something that can never be taken away.”

Sturgill has no animosity, and he is proud of everything the program has accomplished during his tenure.

“I am a Wellston guy, and I am a basketball coach,” he said. “I just have to recharge the batteries a little bit. I hit that pinnacle that Coach Derrow always talked to me about, and these kids coming back deserve 200 percent of me each night.

“If I give 200 percent, they are going to give me 150, but if I am only able to give them 140 percent, I am not going to get 100 percent out of them. This program will be fine. Our girls' basketball program is heading in the right direction.”

Sturgill said the preparation is what he will miss most about not being on the sidelines during the upcoming season.

“I know it is an old cliché, but developing kids and being part of their lives is what I will miss the most,” said Sturgill. “I have had the best of the best. More importantly, I have had great parents, who have allowed us to do the things we’ve done (which include trips to Coastal Carolina, as well as The Ohio State University just to name a few).

“Those are the things I am going to miss the most.”

Sturgill is the last of the pioneers. There is nobody from Coach Derrow’s teams, who are currently coaching.

Moreover, just like Derrow with the boys, Sturgill was also the longest-tenured coach for the girls at Wellston High School ever.

“I think I counted there were 42 coaches in the TVC since I took over the program back in 2009,” said Sturgill.

Sturgill also coached the school’s only TVC MVP in Jordan Davis back in 2012, who was also All-Ohio Honorable Mention, along with Lexi Humphreys in 2014.

Wellston will now be looking for the next head coach for the girls, as well as the boys varsity basketball programs.