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Fairborn’s Harding among new ADs

If you follow area high school sports, no doubt you’ve already noticed an abnormal uptick in head coaching changes for football and boys and girls basketball.

Another key position also has had unusual activity: area high school athletic directors.

“I don’t know if you can point to one specific thing,” said new Fairborn AD Micah Harding.

“I know a lot of guys are moving to just go back to their home town. … A lot of it is really not guys getting out of it altogether. It’s more moving to positions that they prefer. That’s the nature of the game, now.”

At least 17 area high schools will have new ADs this fall. Harding is one of seven new athletic directors among Greater Western Ohio Conference schools. That’s by far the most AD changes of any area league, but the GWOC also has the most members, 18.

Harding succeeds Jon Payne, who left Fairborn for Fenwick. Payne succeeded Mike Asbeck, who left Fenwick to become the AD at Moeller.

As all ADs at the bigger schools, Harding will give up coaching basketball. Previously an assistant AD at Fairborn, he was a basketball assistant to head Skyhawks boys coach Nathan Chivington for five years.

A Cedarville High School grad, Harding stayed home at Cedarville University, earning his bachelor’s degree in sports management and a master’s in education.

He won the Division III state 800 meters as a junior at Cedarville in 2002. Slowed by a knee injury, he was fourth in the same event as a senior. He also ran track for two years at the university then played one year of basketball for the Yellow Jackets.

He accepted the position in May but didn’t officially start until this month. He unofficially started long ago.

“It’s one of those things that if you wait until August, you’re going to be behind,” he said.

“I’m still involved in athletics, it’s just at different levels in coaching. I’ll help organize it and run the department.”

Among the other new ADs is Larry Cox at Edgewood. He was previously a coach and AD at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. He succeeds John Thomas, who is now the AD at Talawanda. The Braves position opened when Jason Grunkemeyer left Talawanda to return to men’s basketball coaching as an assistant at Ball State. He replaced Chris Weaver at Talawanda after Weaver’s departure to become Fairmont’s AD.

It’s official: If you ever wanted to become a high school basketball official, Thurman Leggs has a deal for you.

He’ll be officiating classes at West Carrollton High School from 6-9 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 23 through Nov. 11, for potential referees. Weekly course work will prepare participants to pass a written exam.

Cost is $130. Contact Thurman at (513) 314-0340 or by email at

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