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Ohio high school basketball coach becomes bus driver to help with statewide shortage

Kyle Linehan drove the school's bowling team to a game 30 minutes away and returned to coach a basketball game hours later.

HOLLAND, Ohio — During the day, Kyle Linehan is a math teacher at Springfield High School and the varsity boys basketball coach. But with a shortage of bus drivers in almost every school district, he’s had to add another job to his resume.

On Friday, he had quite the juggling act.

As he closed the books on his day job, Linehan made his way out the doors and hopped in the driver’s seat of a school bus. At the end of last school year, the district asked staff to consider getting certified as a bus driver because the need was so dire.

So, Linehan did just that.

“I selfishly thought, I’ll do it so I can drive my guys in the summer,” Linehan said. “I thought I wouldn’t have to organize parents or anything like that, I’ll just get a bus. Well, little did I know what I signed up for.” 

Friday's situation showed the district's need for bus drivers. Because the rest of the bus drivers were tied up after school with their normal routes, he was next in line to drive the Blue Devils' bowling team to their match in Napoleon. 

“The situation is extreme,” Springfield Local Schools Director of Transportation Scott Brooker said. “It’s in every district, so we’re not alone. All of the districts are in this together. The drivers that we have are extremely dedicated to this job, but we need extra drivers.”

Despite Linehan's initial reasoning for taking on the extra responsibility, he learned to enjoy driving the bus and relish in the job.

“These are the only nights that I really am available,” said Linehan. “Typically, we practice right away after school. It’s almost a blessing in disguise because it takes my mind off the game. After school, I’d just be in my classroom thinking about the game. This helps take my mind off of it. It helps kill time a little bit.”

After dropping the bowling team off in Napoleon, Linehan made his way back to Holland and helped Springfield to their fifth straight victory. He’s certainly more comfortable on the sidelines, but after the requisite certification, the team player is ready to help out in more ways than just as a coach.

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