BENTONVILLE (KFSM) – Jason McMahan helped turn Bentonville into one of the premiere basketball programs in western Arkansas since he was hired in the summer of 2009 but the success of the Tigers’ future will depend on another coach.
McMahan announced his resignation on Friday after his eighth season at the school. Bentonville athletics director Scott Passmore said in a phone interview that the move wasn’t unexpected as the two had been in talks for a year.
“Coach McMahan has officially resigned as our boys basketball coach and his entire staff has also resigned,” Passmore said. “We’ve been talking to coach McMahan and his staff for about a year. They’ve been talking about going to Africa to help with the youth there and teaching basketball and trying to give to needy children in a third world country and it’s something that they truly want to do.”
Bentonville went 16-10 this season after losing in the opening round of the 7A state tournament. The Tigers’ reached back-to-back state championship games prior to the 2016-17 season as they were led by high school All-American Malik Monk. Monk went on to Kentucky where he was named a second team All-American this season.
“We began the process (of searching for a new head coach) imediately and we are going to start taking applications,” Passmore said. “We hope to begin the interview process in the next week and look to have a replacement hired in the next two or three weeks.
“We want to look for someone who is going to commit to the Bentonville community and one who also understands the importance of community involvement. Coach McMahan took the program to a different level and we want to bring someone in who can help build on that.”
McMahan was hired at Bentonville after he left Siloam Springs in the summer of 2009. He led the Panthers to the state championship in 2008 after a 21-point win over Greene County Tech in the 5A title game.