Photo by John Flavell/Courier Journal.
Montgomery County has hired former Ashland coach Jason Mays to lead their boys basketball program.
Jason Mays coached at Ashland for four seasons from 2019 to 2022. Mays’ Tomcats compiled a record of 99 wins and 28 losses with four straight 16th Region Championships. Ashland’s 2019 region title was the first in 17 years for the state’s all-time winningest program.
In 2020, Mays led Ashland to the Sweet 16® with a 33-0 record before the season was cut short due to the pandemic. The season was highlighted in an article by Pat Forde in Sports Illustrated. Because of the Tomcats’ historic season, Jason Mays was voted as the 2020 Kentucky Coach of the Year.
On November 15th, Ashland abruptly let go of Mays with just under a month before their first game of the 2022-2023 season.
Back on June 3rd, Ashland announced they self-reported a violation of Bylaw 16 related to recruiting and undue influence. However, Ashland’s principal Jamie Campbell said in a statement that “100%, Jason Mays is still the Ashland boys basketball coach.” Ashland did impose undisclosed disciplinary action.
However, Principal Campbell told the Daily Independent, “Additional information was received based upon a separate investigation conducted by KHSAA staff. We were provided until Nov. 25 to reinvestigate and propose other sanctions. Based upon that investigation, Jason Mays has been relieved of his duties as head basketball coach at Ashland Blazer High School. This is effective immediately.”
Jason Mays was rumored to be in the running for the job in 2021 when Steve Wright resigned. He later dispelled those rumors to the Herald-Dispatch and remained at Ashland.
Since the retirement of Bart Rison in 2007, Montgomery County has had seven different coaches, with Mays being the eighth. Rison was the coach for 21 seasons with a record of 425 wins to 201 losses. The Indians won eleven district champions under Rison and the school’s first region title in 1995.
Happy Osbourne, one of Jason Mays’ mentors, was the head coach of the 2013 team that made the school’s second trip to the Sweet 16, where they fell in the semifinals.
Mays graduated from Georgetown College in 1999 with degrees in History and Political Science, where he was also a student assistant coach. From 2000 to 2007, Mays was an assistant coach for the Tigers under legendary Georgetown coach Happy Osbourne.
Montgomery County has lost to Paris in the opening round of the district tournament the last two seasons, failing to make the region tournament. In 2020 under Steve Wright, Montgomery County was 10th Region runner-up to George Rogers Clark.
Of the last seven seasons, the Indians have only made the region tournament twice. The Indians are in the 10th Region and 40th District with George Rogers Clark, Bourbon County, and Paris.