It's always a daunting task to find a coach who will be entrusted with continuing the success of a program, especially when the predecessor is still the school's athletic director.
But Carson High athletic director Ron McNutt isn't just faced with finding a replacement for himself. He's now faced with finding a coach for another one of the school's successful programs.
Carson officially began accepting applications for two coaching vacancies in its athletic program - varsity baseball and varsity wrestling.
Since even before last spring, McNutt knew he would be faced with replacing himself after he announced last season would be his last. McNutt retired as Carson's baseball coach after serving in the position for 29 years from 1976-2004. His successful run included two state titles (1979, 1992).
While Dean Schmanski's run as Carson's wrestling coach was much shorter it didn't take him long to make his mark. In his second year as coach last season, he led the Senators to their first zone title in 15 years and to a third place finish in the state championships, equaling the highest finish for Carson at state since placing second in 1985.
Schmanski, though, has resigned. McNutt said that Schmanski wrote in his letter of resignation that due to his involvement in business, he didn't have enough time to continue in his position at CHS. Schmanski was unavailable for comment.
"It's just awful tough," said McNutt about trying to stay involved in a business and coach at the same time.
"He did an outstanding job. He just did a fabulouss job with our wrestling program. I can't say enough about the job that he did here."
District policy effectively mandates that qualified applicants within the district be offered the vacancies first. If no qualified applicants within the district can be found, then the positions are open to those outside the district.
Since announcing his retirement, McNutt said that players, parents and community members have tried to talk him into coming back. "A lot of people asked me to stay on for a year or two," McNutt said.
But since an entire weekend was taken for a celebration to honor McNutt was held after the season was over, it may have been awkward for him to come back.
"You think about those things," said McNutt about the way he was honored and about those asking him to come back. "I appreciated it."
McNutt, though, said he never changed his mind about his retirement, adding what transpired didn't lead him to lock himself into a "closet and ponder it for hours and hours.
"They're just things that go through your mind and that's about it. I had a good run here at Carson High School. It was a great experience for me."
The baseball and wrestling programs should be in good shape to continue their success as both return a strong nucleus. "The cupboard's not bare in baseball," McNutt said.
But this spring in baseball, only one Northern 4A team will advance to the state tournament in Southern Nevada.
"It's going to be a shame that only one is going to represent the North in the state tournament," McNutt said.
Carson, though, should be "in a dogfight fighting with everybody else" to make it to state, McNutt said.
McNutt said he'll remain neutral, but it's no secret that there are several current or former assistants of McNutt, those who also played for him as well, who could be considered qualified applicants. McNutt admitted it would be an advantageous sitatution for an assistant to take over.
But he also said any applicant would have to apply "on their own merits. My job is to fill the post with the best applicant possible."
Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor. Contact him at email@example.com or 881-1214.