rusty-yaden

Rusty Yaden has resigned as head coach of the Oneida High School men's basketball team, school principal Kevin Byrd confirmed Thursday afternoon.

Yaden, who led the Indians to the District 4-A regular season championship last season, separately confirmed the resignation to the Independent Herald.

"As of today, I will no longer be the head basketball coach at Oneida High School," Yaden said in a prepared statement. "For the past six years, I have enjoyed coaching the young men that have wanted to be a part of the boys basketball program here at Oneida. I feel that winning has been re-established in the boys program and that the program is back to being relevant once again in boys basketball."

Yaden declined to expand on the reason for his resignation, saying only that he wanted to "thank everyone who has supported me."

Byrd said that "multiple factors contributed to his decision to resign."

Yaden will remain on as a middle school teacher at Oneida.

"The resignation was not as a teacher. That's good. We're happy about that," Byrd said.

Reportedly, Yaden met with his team Thursday morning to inform them of his decision.

Byrd declined to speculate about the future of the program, or whether Oneida would promote a coach from within or seek to hire a coach. Former player Zach Smith was an assistant on last year's staff.

Yaden took over the OHS program in 2008, inheriting a team that had struggled to make it out of district play. In the six years he was a coach, Yaden's program consistently showed improvements in the win-loss column. His best season was 2012, when the team — led by Jake Wright, who later signed with Berry College — advanced to the Class A sectionals before bowing out as one of the final 16 teams left standing in the state.

In 2014, the Indians won the District 4-A regular season championship, but fell to Wartburg in the semifinals of the district tournament and ended their season at Grace Christian in the regionals.

The program produced three 1,000-point scorers during Yaden's tenure — Wright, Cole West and Cody Carson, who signed with Hiwassee College.

Yaden was named District 4-A's coach of the year after the 2013-2014 season. He leaves as the school's third-winningest coach, behind Randy Shelton and Bill Hall. Within another season, he would have likely eclipsed the program's all-time wins record.

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