Two months ago, one-third of the football coaching positions in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference were vacant. Now, eight weeks before the start of practice, they are all filled.

Great Mills has promoted Bill Griffith, an assistant the past six years to former coach Bill Greer. Griffith, who is also the Hornets' wrestling coach, will try to juggle both jobs.

"At least for one year," Griffith said. "We're going to try it out."

Griffith's hiring closes the last of the four coaching vacancies in the SMAC: Steve Crounse decided to remain at Patuxent; defensive coordinator Tony Lisanti was promoted at Chopticon; and Thomas Stone assistant Patrick Hoiler will start North Point's program.

North Point Athletic Director A.K. Johnson announced several other hirings last week. Jimmy Ball, who had been named the Eagles' cross-country coach, will take over the boys' basketball program; he coached at Westlake the past nine seasons.

Bill Chichester, a longtime assistant to Thomas Stone baseball coach Ed Glaeser, will be North Point's head coach.

Tony Jones, who guided La Plata's softball team for nine seasons, reaching the Maryland 3A final in 1998, will start North Point's program. He was named the Eagles' golf coach last month.

"We had a great time at La Plata, and I have nothing but good memories from there," Jones said. "But this was too good an opportunity."

A similar number of the SMAC's boys' basketball coaches will change. In addition to Ball at North Point, former Thomas Stone assistant Tony Mast has taken over at Lackey.

Patuxent's Chris Hodge stepped down after five seasons. He will become the supervisor of athletics for the Gates Chili school district in Upstate New York.

Terry Mumau, a Chopticon assistant for the past eight seasons, will take over for Rich O'Donnell, who stepped down after 27 seasons to concentrate on his athletic director duties.

"I think it'll be a slow transition," said Mumau, who coached the Braves' girls' team for eight seasons before becoming a boys' assistant. "We're not going to come in there and start from scratch, but I will bring in some things that I did when I had my own program."

Mumau will not coach Chopticon's golf team, nor will Lisanti head the Braves' girls' basketball team, duties they performed before assuming their new roles. O'Donnell said he is accepting applications for both positions.

Two Picked in Baseball Draft

Two area players were selected in the Major League Baseball draft. Patuxent pitcher Joe Klein, who just completed his senior season, went in the 42nd round (No. 1,240) to the Anaheim Angels.

Another pitcher, Enrique Garcia, who graduated from Chopticon last year and played last season at Potomac State College in West Virginia, went to the Chicago White Sox in the 17th round (No. 515).

Neither intends to sign with the club that drafted him. Garcia is expected to return to Potomac State; Klein is likely to play at least one season at Delaware Tech.

JOE KLEIN