After posting back-to-back District Two titles, Tracy Ludwig will not be re-hired for 2013-'14 season.
When Tracy Ludwig took over as head coach of the girls varsity basketball team just before the 2006-'07 season, Honesdale's program was in a state of flux.
Wayne County Sports Hall of Famer Roy Gibbs had been at the helm here in the Maple City, but headed off to Scranton Prep amid a swirl of controversy.
Ludwig, one of his assistants, was quickly elevated to the position.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity," Tracy said at the time. "This is a great group of girls and I'm really looking forward to working with them."
As it turned out, Ludwig worked well with the Lady Hornets, leading them to a pair of District Two Class AAA team titles.
However, whispers of discontent could be heard around the program over the past three years. Those whispers eventually turned into shouts this spring and led to her removal.
"I'm very disappointed," Ludwig said. "I think we did some pretty amazing things these past two years. I'm very proud of what we accomplished and I think my record stands for itself."
The announcement of Ludwig's ouster will be made public at the next full school board meeting, set for tonight. The decision was arrived at during a work session of the board, held one week ago.
Wayne Highlands School District Superintendent Greg Frigoletto, himself a former athlete at Honesdale, broke the news.
"The bottom line is that the decision has been made to move in a different direction," Frigoletto said. "That's pretty much all I can say about the situation."
That answer left Ludwig more than a little confused.
"To say that they're going in a different direction is the most disappointing part of all," she said. "I mean, they never even gave me a real reason. This is a hard pill for me to swallow."
Frigoletto did acknowledge that the job opening would be posted internally for a set time period, then opened up to outside applications.
He hopes the process of finding a new coach will proceed quickly so that the transition can proceed as smoothly as possible.
"I think with all that's been going on in the past few days there's one very important thing to note.
"Everyone involved in the program ... players, coaches, parents and fans in the community ... should be extremely proud of what these girls accomplished in the past few years."
By the Numbers
Ludwig was at the helm of the varsity squad for a total of six seasons.
She compiled an overall record of 86-62 (.581 winning percentage).
The Lady Hornets competed in Division One and Two of the Lackawanna League during that time.
And, while Honesdale did not win any regular season titles during Ludwig's stint, they are the 2-time reigning Class AAA champions.
The Red & Black posted a 46-9 record over the course of the past two years. They defeated Nanticoke in the 2011-12 title tilt, then dispatched Prep to close out the 2012-13 campaign.
This year's team went 23-4 and recorded a victory over Danville in the first round of the PIAA state tournament.
Honesdale's season came to an end in the Class AAA quarterfinals with a double-digit loss to Bethlehem Catholic.
"I enjoyed every minute of working with those girls," Ludwig said.
"I guess that God has a different plan for me right now. I know things happen for a reason and I just have to be patient until I can see the bigger picture."