Sarah Bridenbaugh, who compiled a 92-37 record the past four seasons as head girls' basketball coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar, is leaving the Bulldogs to become an assistant commissioner with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.
KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett announced Bridenbaugh's hiring Wednesday, saying she will oversee the sports of field hockey, cross country/track and field, and bowling, while also handling administrative duties within the association.
Bridenbaugh, who was also a math teacher at Dunbar, will start her new job Monday.
Dunbar did not set a timetable for replacing Bridenbaugh.
“We were blessed with a deep and talented pool of applicants for this position and are thankful to everyone who expressed interest. However, during the interview process, Coach Bridenbaugh impressed the hiring committee by displaying her infectious nature that has led her to great success in a short time,” Tackett said in a news release. “I am certain she will quickly mesh not only with the leadership team at the office and with our Board of Control, but with the entirety of our membership as she seeks to continue the growth and development of several key sports and sport-activities. In addition, her organizational skills are readily apparent and will help in the multi-faceted requirements of this position.
The commissioner also expressed gratitude to the administration at Dunbar.
“While the timing is not ideal with the school year newly started, I have a strong feeling that Sarah will be able to positively affect the lives of even more student-athletes at the state level in the great manner she has already done so locally.”
Bridenbaugh was named the KHSAA girls’ basketball Coach of the Year by the Louisville Courier-Journal in her first season after guiding the Lady Bulldogs to a semifinal appearance in the 2012 Sweet Sixteen.
“It is truly an honor to be a part of an association that is centered around the importance of education and high school athletics," Bridenbaugh said in the release. "I also want to thank the Paul Laurence Dunbar family for providing me with an excellent opportunity as a coach and educator.”
Prior to joining the Lady Bulldogs, Bridenbaugh spent the 2010-11 season as the head girls’ basketball coach at Lewis County (W.Va.) High School.
Bridenbaugh graduated NCAA Division II West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2009 as the school's all-time leading basketball scorer. She was also an all-conference performer in track and field.
A product of Morgan (Ohio) High School, Bridenbaugh has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from West Virginia Wesleyan and a master's degree in instructional leadership from Eastern Kentucky University.
She and her husband, Sy, live in Lexington.