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Ottumwa Looks For New Hoops Coach After Creamer Resigns

By Jason Van Arkel, March 29, 2018

For the second year in a row, Ottumwa High is looking to hire a new head boys basketball coach.

Kyle Creamer

Wednesday night, Ottumwa Radio Sports confirmed that head coach Kyle Creamer had submitted his resignation after just one season. Creamer led the Bulldogs to a 6-16 record in 2017-2018, identical to the record they had the year before in Kevin Kanaskie’s final season as head coach.

At times, Creamer had OHS playing better than a 6-16 team. The Bulldogs improved their conference record from the previous season. Ottumwa also suffered a couple of close road losses to quality teams, losing 46-40 at Ankeny Centennial, and leading late in the 3rd quarter at then-#2 Des Moines North. In all, OHS suffered six losses by less than ten points.

It was a two-point loss, however–a buzzer-beater at Indianola, 52-50–that sent the Bulldogs into a season-ending skid. Ottumwa would lose its final six games, including a tough first-round playoff loss at Cedar Rapids Kennedy where they led by seven at halftime, only to lose by seven.

Although Creamer has stepped down from the basketball position, he remains employed in the Ottumwa school district as a physical education teacher. He will also continue to be the head coach of the Bulldog boys golf team.

Ottumwa athletic director Scott Maas says he hopes to cast a wide net in the search for a new basketball coach. Lead assistant coach Neil Hartz, who had led the sophomore team before moving up to the top assistant position, could be an in-house candidate. If Maas and Ottumwa look outside the district, the new coach could be tied to whichever teaching positions the district might be hiring for in 2018-2019.

The new coach will have a young roster on his hands next season. Ottumwa only returns two players with starting experience, in Lathan Hamm and Caleb Vasconez. They lose four players with extensive experience to graduation: Noah Boyer, Jayqwon Bridges, Hunter Nelson and Jahrett Van Engelenhoven. In addition, Andrew Curran and Sam Yeaway, two starters who would have been seniors for Ottumwa next winter, transferred to Waukee after basketball season ended.