Prep Basketball

Josh Claypool elevated to head girls' basketball coach at Marion

He has been an assistant since 2012; AD hiring expected Monday

Josh Claypool (right) encourages the Marion girls’ basketball team in a 2018 game, along with former assistant Pete Messerli and former head coach Corby Laube. Claypool is the new head coach. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Josh Claypool (right) encourages the Marion girls’ basketball team in a 2018 game, along with former assistant Pete Messerli and former head coach Corby Laube. Claypool is the new head coach. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

MARION — Josh Claypool didn’t wait. Through a month in which nobody was officially in charge of the Marion High School girls’ basketball program, Claypool took charge.

“It was a busy last few weeks,” Claypool said. “We ran a youth camp the first week of June, and we had a huge turnout. We went through summer workouts as scheduled.”

There’s no question who’s in command now.

Claypool, 41, was named as the Indians’ coach Friday by Marion principal Greg Semler.

“We reviewed six candidates, and they all brought different levels of experience,” Semler said. “It was quite an exciting process. What really stood out about Josh was his dedication to this system and these student-athletes.

“His character, his composure ... his patience during the process, it was very integral.”

Claypool was a 1996 graduate of Marion, then received his bachelor of arts from Coe College in 2000 and a master of arts in teaching from Morningside College in 2010.

He serves as a seventh-grade math teacher at Vernon Middle School in the Marion district, and has been a head JV/assistant varsity coach for the Marion girls since 2012.

Friday’s announcement came exactly one month after Corby Laube confirmed his resignation, both as athletics director and girls’ basketball coach.

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Semler said he plans to announce an athletics director Monday. The AD duties are now paired with those of dean of students.

Claypool inherits a championship-caliber nucleus that includes senior Kayba Laube and juniors Riley Wright and Ella Van Weelden.

Kayba Laube is a University of Northern Iowa commit. She and Wright were IPSWA 4A first-team all-staters last season; Van Weelden earned second-team honors.

That trio averaged 39.8 points per game last season as Marion went 23-2, dropping a 50-49 heartbreaker to North Scott in the 4A state final.

“I’m extremely excited,” Claypool said. “We have a great nucleus, a great core coming back. We keep losing a lot to graduation, and we keep bringing great kids up.”

Claypool was on the bench as an assistant when the Indians won the 4A title in 2018, when they were runners-up in 2017 and 2019, and when they were semifinalists in 2016.

Semler emailed the players with his decision Thursday. Claypool has not met with the team since his appointment, but the Indians are scheduled for a scrimmage Tuesday.

Claypool and his wife, Jen, are the parents of three students in the Marion district.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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