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The Salem School Board of Trustees met in regular session last night – the first completely open meeting to the public since the start of the pandemic – and hired several new employees, including a new head boys basketball coach. 

William Patrick Cantrell of Bogart, Georgia, was chosen from a special basketball committee that interviewed and reviewed applicants, according to Board President Rodney Brough. The board voted 7-0 to approve his hiring. 

Cantrell has 23 years of experience coaching basketball in Georgia and most recently has been the head coach of the Prince Avenue Christian School for the past four years and was 57-47 over those years. 

His resume said his teams have appeared in 7 of the past 10 Georgia High School Sports Association State Tournaments. 

“My family and I are extremely humbled and excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Salem community,” Cantrell wrote in a statement. “It has been my life-long dream to be a head boys basketball coach in the great state of Indiana and to have the privilege to fulfill that dream at Salem is truly a dream come true. 

“Words cannot express my gratitude and excitement to lead the Salem Lions this year and future seasons to come,” he wrote. “I will strive each day to bring passion and energy to our program, school and community. We cannot wait to get started and look forward to many years of success. Go Lions”

While he was the head boys basketball coach at Prince Avenue, Cantrell co-founded and operated a year-long basketball training program for youth grades 3-8 and also developed a successful summer basketball program for players in grades 9-12. 

Between 2010 and 2016, Cantrell served as the head varsity coach at Hebron Christian Academy. His record there was 86-86 over six years. 

He started his career between 2007 and 2010 as the head JV Coach at Monroe Area High School. 

Cantrell is married to a teacher and together he and his wife have two children.