Linton basketball coach suspended indefinitely; assistant will coach at semistate

Mar. 14—Linton Miners boys basketball coach Joey Hart has been suspended indefinitely following an intoxicated driving arrest Monday evening in Shelbyville.

Hart will not be coaching the Miners at Saturday's IHSAA Class 2A Southport Semistate, where Linton (27-1) is scheduled to face Parke Heritage (19-9) at noon.

"Linton-Stockton High School Boys Basketball Coach Joey Hart has been suspended indefinitely," Linton-Stockton Schools Superintendent Kathy Goad said in a news release Tuesday morning.

"Assistant coach Noah Hawkins will take over the head coaching duties immediately and until further notice. This will be the only statement released by the school corporation or persons within the school and basketball program on this action, as we are bound by policy on discussing personnel matters."

Hawkins also filled in as interim head coach in January after Hart was arrested and charged with public intoxication Dec. 31 at Coalmont. The school district placed Hart on administrative leave and then reinstated him Jan. 28.

According to the Shelbyville Police Department, the 50-year-old Hart was arrested following a witness reporting a swerving car at 8:35 p.m. Monday. The police report said Hart was observed driving erratically, and that after being stopped by police, he refused to participate in field-sobriety or portable-breath tests for alcohol levels.

After a judge approved a search warrant to obtain blood samples for testing, Hart was taken to MHP Medical Center, the samples were drawn and those results were still pending Tuesday, according to the police report.

Hart was arrested and charged with dangerous operating while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor.

Last Saturday, Linton — ranked No. 1 in the state in the final Associated Press Class 2A poll — routed North Decatur 62-33 for the regional championship at Southridge. Coach Hart's son, also named Joey Hart, led the Miners with 29 points.