SHELBY COUNTY — The head coach of the No. 1 boys basketball team in Class 2A was arrested Monday night in Shelby County and faces a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI).
Joey Hart, coach of the Linton-Stockton Miners basketball team, was arrested Monday night and booked in the Shelby County jail.
According to the Shelbyville Police Department, Hart was reported by a witness to be swerving and crossing the center line while driving on West State Road 44.
Officers responded to the report and found a vehicle on West McKay Road. They observed the vehicle disregard a stop sign.
After stopping the vehicle, they identified Hart as the driver. Officers could smell a strong odor of alcohol from the vehicle and observed an open cup filled with beer.
Officers say Hart had blood shot eyes, slurred speech and poor balance.
When asked where he was, Hart said he was in "Clay City," to which officers advised him that he was in Shelbyville.
Police say Hart refused to take a sobriety test or a breathalyzer. Officers requested a search warrant in order to test Hart's blood before arresting him on OWI Charges.
This is Hart’s second alcohol-related arrest in the past three months.
In January, Hart was arrested in Clay County for public intoxication.
The No. 1 ranked Miners (27-1) are scheduled to take on Parke Heritage High School Saturday afternoon in the opening round of Semistate.
Dr. Kathy Goad, superintendent of Linton-Stockton School Corporation, released the following statement.
“Linton-Stockton High School Boys Basketball Coach, Joey Hart, has been suspended indefinitely. 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.”
Hart was in his 13th season with the Miners basketball program. He previously has won two Semistate titles with the program.
He holds a 275-72 career head coaching record.