When Joe Otis took over as Valparaiso girls basketball coach and Candy Wilson came on as the junior varsity coach last year, it only figured to be a matter of time before Wilson ascended to the first chair.
That time just might be coming sooner than expected.
Otis announced his resignation Tuesday morning, seemingly paving the way for Wilson to become head coach.
"I didn't think it would be (one year) either," Otis said. "I really intended to stay three, four years, then I'd be 65. That was kind of the plan. Then when you start thinking about it, it's time. I have two grandchildren I haven't seen since last summer. They live in Las Vegas, so it's not like I can drive to LaPorte where my son lives to see them. I got to the point where I realized family was pretty important to me."
A Valpo High and Valpo University graduate, Otis coached boys basketball at LaPorte from 1981 into the 2001-2002 season, amassing 296 wins with eight sectional and three regional titles and a state finals trip in 1997. He came to Valpo in 2010, going 65-27 over four seasons as boys coach before resigning to take the girls job. The Vikings went 9-11 this season.
"I'm proud of what we accomplished," Otis said. "We turned it around, not as much as we wanted to, but our conference is pretty darn good and will be again next year."
Valpo Athletic Director Herb Hofer said via email that the position will be posted per school policy once the school board acts upon Otis' letter. All signs, though, point to Wilson. She guided the Vikings' JV to a 14-3 mark this season after leaving Boone Grove, where, Otis noted, her 245 career wins rank second all-time in the state among female coaches.
"I've got this rock star JV coach who's one of those charismatic figures," Otis said. "Most school corporations don't have a lot of ability to (hire) outside. We were lucky enough to get Candy last year. It's been a great situation. She's pretty popular with the girls. I've always let my assistant coaches coach, so it would make an easy transition. It wouldn't be like having a third coach in three years."