Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2006

Spring coaching voids filled

December 21, 2006

Baldwin High School has filled its spring coaching positions for the 2007 season.

Both head coaching vacancies were filled at the Dec. 11 Board of Education meeting, when the school board approved the hiring of Brock Hartshorn (baseball) and Justin Hoffman (boys' tennis).

"We did interviews for both positions two weeks ago," Activities Director Gary Stevanus said. "I feel we have two very good coaching candidates."

Both coaches are excited to be taking over their respective teams this spring.

"I applied for the job as soon as I knew it was open," Hoffman said. "I've played tennis for so many years. I love being around the game and I am excited to be the new coach."

Hartshorn talked to Stevanus about the opening during the summer and was excited to be named the next baseball coach at BHS.

"I've coached baseball for quite a few years," Hartshorn said. "I want to build a program here and this is a great place to start one."

Hoffman began playing tennis in middle school and continued to play at Independence High School and Independence Community College.

"I like the fact that tennis is a physical, technical and mental sport," Hoffman said. "You are out there by yourself and you have to be thinking to yourself all of the time."

For the past two seasons, he has been an assistant coach for the BHS girls' tennis program. Hoffman said he has learned a lot from Ginny Honomichl, BHS girls' tennis coach.

"I've been a part of the girls' program, but this will be completely different," Hoffman said. "I've seen how practices are run a bit and I've got access to coach Honomichl, which is a great resource. So, I won't be walking into the season unprepared."

Hartshorn played baseball at Concordia High School before moving on to play at Emporia State University. He was then an assistant coach in Grove, Okla., from 1995-1999.

"Brock has played collegiately on some very elite teams," Stevanus said. "He has coached high school baseball in the past with a very successful record. He has also been involved in numerous summer programs."

Hartshorn has some plans for building a baseball program here in Baldwin City.

"I'm pretty excited about the opportunity to coach here," Hartshorn said. "I have a fundamental approach that I want to bring to the team. I also want to get involved with the youth programs and get kids interested in baseball at a younger age."

Both coaches are special education teachers at BHS. Stevanus said it is a big help to have the coaches in the building everyday.

BHS players will have a few months to become familiar with their new coaches before the season starts. Stevanus said hiring the coaches now also allows them plenty of time to prepare for the season.

"It gives them enough time to do all of the administrative tasks behind the scenes that they need to do for a successful season," Stevanus said. "It also gives the kids a chance to know who they are going to play for. It gives the coaches a chance to get some sort of off-season conditioning program lined up before practices actually start."

Stevanus hopes both coaches have success during the upcoming season.

"I think both of them are going to have their work cut out for them, but they are both up to the challenge," Stevanus said. "Both of them seem to have a really good play on how to build their program for the future. It may take some time, but they both have a good plan on how to get there."

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