LEXINGTON – KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett announced the hiring of Sarah Bridenbaugh as the Association’s newest Assistant Commissioner on Wednesday. Among her many duties at the KHSAA, Bridenbaugh will oversee the sports of field hockey, cross country/track and field, and the sport-activity of bowling, while also handling various administrative duties within the Association. Bridenbaugh will officially join the Association on Monday.
“We were blessed with a deep and talented pool of applicants for this position and are thankful to everyone who expressed interest. However, during the interview process, coach Bridenbaugh impressed the hiring committee by displaying her infectious nature that has led her to great success in a short time,” said Tackett. “I am certain she will quickly mesh not only with the leadership team at the office and with our Board of Control, but with the entirety of our membership as she seeks to continue the growth and development of several key sports and sport-activities. In addition, her organizational skills are readily apparent and will help in the multi-faceted requirements of this position.
“I am also thankful to the administration of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, as well as the Fayette County Schools, for their understanding of the timing of this hiring,” added Tackett. “While the timing is not ideal with the school year newly started, I have a strong feeling that Sarah will be able to positively affect the lives of even more student-athletes at the state level in the great manner she has already done so locally.”
Bridenbaugh joins the KHSAA from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, where she spent the past four years as the girls’ basketball head coach and a mathematics teacher. She compiled an overall record of 92-37 (.713 winning percentage) in four seasons at the helm, and was named the KHSAA girls’ basketball Coach of the Year by the Louisville Courier-Journal in her first season after guiding the Lady Bulldogs to a semifinal appearance in the 2012 Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16.
“I am very enthusiastic about joining the KHSAA as an Assistant Commissioner. It is truly an honor to be a part of an Association that is centered around the importance of education and high school athletics. My professional career has revolved around athletics and student success, and this new and exciting opportunity will allow me to further my commitment to student-athletes. I want to assist in continued leadership development of our youth across the state of Kentucky,” said Bridenbaugh. “I also want to thank the Paul Laurence Dunbar family for providing me with an excellent opportunity as a coach and educator. I am looking forward to the upcoming year and working with the Association.”
During her time at Paul Laurence Dunbar, Bridenbaugh served as the event coordinator for Bulldog Midnight Madness for the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams, the site coordinator for the Run 4 the Roses AAU Tournament, and planned and coordinated basketball camps.
Prior to joining the Lady Bulldogs, Bridenbaugh spent the 2010-11 season as the head girls’ basketball coach at Lewis County (W.Va.) High School and the 2009-10 season as the freshman/JV girls’ basketball coach at Buckhannon-Upshur HS.
A standout student-athlete in girls’ basketball and track and field, Bridenbaugh was a two-time All-America selection in girls’ basketball and an NCAA Division II First Team All-Academic honoree at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She graduated as the school’s all-time leading scorer and was just the ninth member of the WVIAC’s 2,000-point club. She was named First Team All-WVIAC and earned a spot on the WVIAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll on three occasions, and received the WVIAC’s Player of the Year award in 2008.
In track and field, Bridenbaugh garnered the WVIAC’s Rookie of the Year award in 2006. She was a First Team All-WVIAC selection, and helped the Bobcats to a conference championship while claiming the league’s heptathlon title during her track career. In addition, Bridenbaugh spent four years as an office assistant for the track and field coaching staff.
A product of Morgan (Ohio) High School, Bridenbaugh graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. She added a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Eastern Kentucky University in 2015. She and her husband, Sy, reside in Lexington.