Barbee named interim wrestling coach
Hopper placed on administrative leave amid teaching issues
Cassville Athletic Director Doug Martin has named Brian Barbee the interim head coach of the Wildcats wrestling program.
Barbee, who had been the team's assistant coach, was elevated to the position after Head Coach David Hopper was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 16.
"Coach Hopper's leave has nothing to do with his coaching," Martin said. "It is related to the teaching aspect of his job."
Martin said the decision for a coaching change did not come easy, but he believed it to be the best for the athletes in the program.
"I felt there needed to be some stability," Martin said. "It was not fair to the kids to have a coach that could not be there 100 percent of the time. We are totally committed to the wrestling program at Cassville."
To fill the assistant coach's void, the district hired Ethan Davis, a former standout at Monett.
"Ethan came highly-recommended," Martin said. "Monett Wrestling Coach Daryl Bradley and Marshfield Wrestling Coach Matt Holt both spoke highly of his character and passion for the sport. They were both instrumental in helping us fill the coaching void."
Cassville's head coaching position will be reevaluated at the conclusion of the season, according to Martin.
Hopper will remain on paid administrative leave until the school board takes further action.
As a teacher of industrial technology and shop, a class held at the high school and not at Scott Tech, Hopper earns a salary of $37,500 on a 180-day contract, which runs the eight months while school is in session. His coaching stipend for wrestling is $3,525, bringing his total salary over the school year to $41,025.