chase1

Chase

The next man to lead the North Ridgeville High School varsity boys basketball program is coming from the same bench as his predecessor.

On Tuesday, the city’s school board approved the hiring of Ben Chase to take over as head coach following the departure of Bryan Morgan, who accepted the job of the school’s head football coach back in January. Morgan led the Rangers on the court for the past nine seasons.

Chase, 27, has served as an assistant on Morgan’s staff for the past three seasons and also teaches health and physical education in the district, working at both the Academic Center and at the Ranger High-Tech Academy.

“He’s somebody I was really hoping would be able to earn that position,” Morgan said. “Over the last few years, he’s really increased a lot of his duties that he’s done for the program, taking over offensive responsibilities and really working a lot on skill development from the youth program all the way up to the varsity players. I think he’s ready, I think his college career has him prepared, and he’s done a great job for me the last three years.”

Chase is a 2013 Bay High School grauate who came into his own on the court as a senior, averaging 17 points per game and earning an All-West Shore Conference Second Team selection, as well as Most Improved Player honors from the Rockets.

The 6-foot-2 swingman went on to play collegiately at Baldwin-Wallace University, where he earned a varsity letter and helped the Yellow Jackets to an Ohio Athletic Conference championship during his senior season in 2017.

Prior to coming to North Ridgeville, he spent a year at Clearview High School, teaching physical education and coaching the freshman boys hoops team, while also assisting the varsity.

He’s excited to get started as the leader of the Rangers.

“Over the last three years as an assistant coach, I’ve gotten to develop relationships with kids at every level in our program,” Chase said in a statement. “I could not be more excited for the opportunity to continue to grow those relationships and lead this program to a conference championship. I am excited to get back into the gym and see our players and get ourselves ready for the 2021-22 season.”

This year, the Rangers were 10-12 overall, 7-9 in the Southwestern Conference. They finished in sixth place, but were only a game back of Westlake and Midview for fourth. There is plenty of youth in the program, as Chase will have eight returning varsity players to work with once the next season begins.

Contact this reporter at sports@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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