Dedra Adler is fully invested in the Logan County community.

She graduated from the Russellville school in 1999, her husband Todd Adler is the Cougars’ football coach, their children are in the district and, on Friday, she was named the girls’ basketball coach after serving as an assistant on Finley Baird’s staff last season.

“Having played at Logan County and being an alumni from there, it’s just ultimately been my dream to get back to Logan County,” Adler said in a phone interview with the Daily News. “With my husband there coaching football, myself now as the head coach of basketball and my children in the system, we’re fully invested in Logan County schools and the kids. We are so thankful for an administration – our superintendent, principal and athletic director – you just can’t work for better (people). They’re all sports-minded and they’re all student-first – do what’s best for kids – and, for me, that’s what it’s all about.

“I’m super blessed to work for an administration that I feel will back and support what our vision is. And not just that – Logan County has a community that truly rallies behind kids. I couldn’t be more thankful. I’m so looking forward to it.”

The hire was first reported by WRUS in Russellville and confirmed to the Daily News by Logan County athletic director Greg Howard.

“For us, when we went to make a hire, it was about what was the best fit, not necessarily who has the most-polished resume or who’s got the most wins,” Howard said. “It’s kind of a gut feeling, but our decision was about who is the right fit right now for that job.

“She’s the right fit, there’s no doubt about it.”

Before Adler’s time on the sidelines during Logan County’s 16-17 season last year, in which the Lady Cougars won the District 13 title, she served as Russellville’s head coach from 2006-13. She stepped away after her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She compiled a 70-125-1 record over seven seasons as the Lady Panthers coach, according to records available on the KHSAA website, and was an assistant two seasons before that.

“She had recently been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers, and so it wasn’t so much that I planned to get out of coaching forever,” Adler said. “I just needed to get out of coaching to be with my family and do what was best for my family.”

Adler, who has been a teacher at Logan County since 2013, planned to get back into coaching sooner than she did, but decided to wait as oldest daughter Brea Croslin went through the softball recruiting process. The recent Logan County graduate signed with Murray State in December.

Adler takes over for Baird, who went 126-104 with six District 13 titles in seven seasons as Logan County’s head coach. As an assistant last year, Adler coached the junior varsity team which allowed her to get familiar with many of the players she’ll be leading this winter. Logan County graduated five seniors – Paige Vanzant, Peyton Vanzant, Kennedy Nichols, Addie White and Gracie Christian – all of whom were starters. They comprised the team’s top four scorers and top four rebounders.

“It’s going to be different. There’s going to be lots of changes and lots of players expected to step into some really big roles really quickly. There’s going to be some challenges along the way,” Adler said. “I’m an extreme optimist, but I’m also a realist and when I look at what we lost, we lost a whole lot, but I also feel very confident in the girls that we have returning. We have great leadership coming back, we have girls that work hard, want to win and are coachable, and when you have that, that’s half the battle.”

Adler already has a staff in place she says she is “super excited” about and is waiting for more guidelines before getting to work with the team. The KHSAA Board of Control voted Thursday to allow face-to-face meetings of 10 people or less starting Monday and dissolved the traditional dead period from June 25-July 9 for 2020 by a 13-5 vote. The KHSAA has been in a dead period since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic and was forced to cancel the boys’ and girls’ Sweet Sixteens, as well as spring sports.

“I told my husband my emotions are all over the place – I am humbled, I am excited, I am anxious, I am angry that we can’t start yesterday because of COVID-19 – I’m all over the place, but I couldn’t be more excited,” Adler said. “ ... I know the kids coming will meet the expectations, so I’m so excited about it. I’m humbled and thankful for the opportunity and, as much as I hate winter, I’m ready for the cold months.”{&end}

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit bgdailynews.com.

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