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Shawnee’s Meeks among Centerville finalists

Shawnee head football coach Rick Meeks is among six candidates to make the final cut as the new Centerville High School football coach.

Centerville athletic director Rob Dement confirmed this week that Meeks will be interviewed for the lofty position that opened when veteran Elks coach Ron Ullery was not retained following this past season.

Meeks, 43, would not comment about the possibility of landing the Elks’ job. Both he and Dement are Shawnee graduates.

Dement said that at least 50 potential candidates inquired about the job. Of those, six, including Meeks, will be interviewed. Dement said that the position will likely be filled next month.

Ullery was Centerville’s head coach the past 14 seasons and was a member of the Elks’ football program for 37 years. Centerville was 8-3 last season, losing in the first round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs.

“Within this candidate pool, we definitely will find the next leader who can take what both (former) coach (Bob) Gregg and coach Ullery have built and maintained and maybe even advance it to a better level, if that’s possible,” Dement said. “Everyone’s been very respectful and appreciative of the era that we’re leaving.”

Shawnee football has been especially successful during Meeks’ 11-year run as the head coach.

Six of Meeks’ teams at Shawnee have qualified for the postseason, including the last five. Shawnee also has won nine playoff games in the last five seasons.

In 2011 Shawnee posted a 14-1 record and placed runner-up in the Division III state championship. Shawnee was 9-2 this season, losing to then-unbeaten Tippecanoe in the regular-season finale. Shawnee was knocked out of the D-III playoffs in the first round by eventual state runner-up Trotwood-Madison.

Meeks also previously was an assistant coach at Tecumseh, Fairborn and Kenton Ridge.

Also unfilled is the head coaching position at Springfield High School. That job opened when Eric Gillespie resigned after two seasons. The Wildcats were 1-9 this season.

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