Since last May, there have been several new coaching positions filled, bringing lots of new faces to the athletic department.
Many of the coaches on staff have brought in new assistants, or have moved from assistants to head coaches. Ultimately, there is a new wave of people in the coaching offices that many students have not yet had the chance to meet.
For example, Ryan Clark, previous women’s basketball head coach, has taken over the men’s team. With this, Samantha Stormont has stepped in as the head coach of the women’s team. Adam Nycz has stepped up from assistant coach to head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, and Brandon Trefil has become the new head coach of both men’s and women’s golf teams.
Along with these new roles being filled by both new staff members and previously existing ones, many assistant coaching spots have been filled.
Some of these assistant coaches include: Ryan Duncan, who will assist with the women’s basketball team, Tara Lierman has stepped on as new assistant for the women’s soccer team and Tyris Hill has been named a new assistant coach for the football team.
Along with these, several other new assistant coaches have come to join the Alma family, with more to be announced soon.
A few alumni have also decided to come back and help coach for their old teams, including Brehanna Ramos (‘19) and Kennedy Hilley (‘19).
“It’s cool how adaptive everyone has been, and supportive. They all stop in and make sure to say hello,” said Hilley. It can be difficult for an alum to earn the full respect of their team while stepping into the coaching role.
“As an alum, respect is a big thing with the student athletes and I think that they respect me enough that things are going really well,” said Hilley. All of the new faces in the athletic department have said that they love the energy in the offices.
“It’s been amazing! Everyone gets along really well, and they are all really welcoming and always there to help if I need,” said Tara Lierman.
Student athlete perspectives on all of the new faces in the athletic department are equally as important, and senior athletes have seen plenty of change in their years at Alma.
“Throughout my years at Alma, I have seen a lot of turnover from the coaching staff,” said Steve Harvey (‘20).
“It’s sad to see these faces familiar to Alma leave us, but at the same time it’s always good for a fresh start to rejuvenate a program. These changes can be integral in setting the foundation to shift the direction of a program,” said Harvey.
“I have seen a lot of coaches come and go, but one thing always stays the same: they love their athletes and the people here,” said Georgia Miller (‘20).
“I can’t speak for all sports, but this summer specifically, I have seen the volleyball program change in terms of motivation to win and support,” said Miller.
“I think Sarah Dehring has done a great job at supporting all the sports teams and really promoting a positive, inclusive environment for everyone in the athletic department! She sees our potential in Alma athletics and is really putting her visions into action,” said Miller.
From coaches to athletic directors to student athletes, everyone is excited for the direction the athletic department is headed with these new staff members.
“I think Alma is definitely headed in the right direction. Athletes are creating a buzz around campus about the excitement they have for these fresh starts,” said Harvey.