Donna Dixon will be the new wrestling coach at Parkersburg South High School.
The Wood County Board of Education approved Dixon as the new coach by a 4-1 vote. Dixon will replace legendary coach Paul Jackson, who retired after winning 4 straight WV State Championships.
The decision is one weighing heavily on board members. Nearly 20 community members, former coaches, family members, and student athletes spoke at the meeting.
The board member casting the single dissenting vote, said it was not a reflection on Dixon's "keen intellect" or dedication to the program.
This wrestling program is a point of passion for many South fans. It's a fabled program, and the debate over the last few weeks has created quite a stir in the community.
There was tension among the crowd as speakers voiced their opinion on the podium. Board members fielded questions about qualifications and laws. But ultimately, the board sided with the recommendation from Parkersburg South High School administrators.
Jake Alexander, a member of the South wrestling team, spoke on behalf of several of his teammates. They showed their solidarity by standing behind him at the podium. "We support South. We support our administrators and the choices they made. And we're going to stand by them."
Dixon comes from a family passionate about the sport of wrestling. Her mother says it's a long standing family tradition. Dixon's husband was an assistant under coach Paul Jackson and they also have a son on the South wrestling team.