Nate Baker, currently the athletic director at Yellow Springs High School, will be recommended as the Wayne High School AD during Tuesday night’s Huber Heights City Schools board of education monthly meeting. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Wayne to recommend Yellow Springs AD over former DPS athletic director

Nate Baker, currently the athletic director at Yellow Springs High School — and not Jonas Smith — will be recommended as the Wayne High School AD during Tuesday night’s Huber Heights City Schools board of education monthly meeting.

Smith, the former Dayton Public Schools director of athletics, originally was listed on a posted school board agenda as being recommended for the Wayne position. Smith confirmed on Monday afternoon he would be recommended by outgoing superintendent Susan Gunnell for the job. That changed later Monday and Baker instead was listed on the agenda items.

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Baker would not comment. This news outlet has reached out to Smith for comment.

That is the final significant change in the Wayne athletics landscape since Gunnell did not recommend the rehiring of longtime Wayne athletic director Jay Minton, also formerly the Warriors head football coach, for the AD position this past spring.

Minton has since accepted a newly created position as a Huber Heights middle school physical education teacher but resigned as football coach last month after 21 seasons. Roosevelt Mukes was promoted to be the Warriors’ head football coach.

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Gunnell will be succeeded as superintendent later this month by Mario Basora, currently the Yellow Springs School District superintendent.

Baker succeeded Steve Rossi as the Yellow Springs athletic director in 2014. Rossi has since been the AD at Cincinnati Roger Bacon High School.

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Yellow Springs, located off State Route 68 between Springfield and Xenia, is among the state’s smallest schools for enrollment. The Ohio High School Athletic Association lists the Greene County school with 84 boys (grades 9-12) and 98 girls. Yellow Springs has neither football, golf, softball nor wrestling.

Baker’s immediate on-field task will be to keep Wayne athletics at the highest level. The Warriors are Division I in all girls and boys sports and have been especially successful at football, boys and girls basketball, and boys track and field. Wayne won the boys state basketball championship in 2015 and were state runners-up in football four times with Minton as coach.

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Baker also will be part of a rebooted Greater Western Ohio Conference. Wayne joins holdovers Beavercreek, Centerville, Fairmont, Lebanon, Miamisburg, Northmont, Springboro, Springfield and Trotwood-Madison in the GWOC this coming school year.

Ten former GWOC schools – Butler, Fairborn, Greenville, Piqua, Sidney, Stebbins, Tippecanoe, Troy, West Carrollton and Xenia – revised the Miami Valley League, which begins this fall.

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Lebanon will leave the GWOC for the Eastern Cincinnati Conference in 2020 and Trotwood’s GWOC membership will end after the 2019-20 school year.

A 1990 Jefferson graduate, Smith oversaw some of the most successful Dayton City League sports programs – including boys basketball and girls and boys track and field – through 2016, when he resigned to become the AD at Bowling Green High School in Ohio. His successor at DPS was Mark Baker.

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Smith resigned from Bowling Green before the 2016-17 school year ended to become the AD at Cincinnati Withrow High School, where he was expected to leave for Huber Heights. At Withrow, Smith oversaw a switch by the Tigers from the ECC to the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference following the 2019-20 school year.

Smith also landed the AD job at Upper Arlington High School in the spring of 2015, but soon resigned to retain his previous position at DPS. He never worked at Upper Arlington.

This news outlet could not confirm if Smith will remain as the Withrow athletic director or not.

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