ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Hillsboro High School will have two new head coaches in place when fall sports practice begins in August.
Len Coryea, veteran assistant football coach at HHS, will lead the football program, while Sandy Arnold, head volleyball coach at Canton-Galva High School for the past nine years, will assume the same position at HHS this fall.
Coryea, who will step into the vacancy created by the resignation of Dustin McEwen in football, has been an assistant coach under Don Penner and McEwen for the past 18 seasons.
Prior to coming to the Hillsboro school system in 1986, Coryea was head coach at Bluestem High School in Leon for four seasons, then was an assistant coach at El Dorado High School.
“We feel very good about getting Len to be our head football coach for the fact that he’s served for a number of years on our staff under both Don Penner and Dustin McEwen,” said Max Heinrichs, HHS activities director.
“He also brings experience from a former school, Bluestem. Through all the experience that he has, we feel he’ll be a great leader for our program.”
Arnold, who will be librarian at Hillsboro Elementary School, will succeed Tina King, who will return to the role of assistant coach after serving as head coach for one season.
“We feel very fortunate to have Sandy to lead our Trojan volleyball program,” Heinrichs said. “She’s had some very successful years in the past. I don’t know her very well yet, but from the people I’ve talked to who know her, she will be an excellent coach.”
Heinrichs said the hiring of Arnold was no reflection on King’s performance last season, when the Trojans registered a 14-13 record coming off a 6-20 season the year before.
King, however, was a Rule 10 hire while Arnold will be a full-time member of the school staff and therefore has preference.
“We feel fortunate to get her,” Heinrichs said of Arnold. “It gives us another coach with experience to help our program along.”
McEwen’s departure in football created an opening in the four-member coaching staff that will be filled by Darrel Knoll, who has been the head coach of the middle school program. His position at HMS will be filled by Phil Oelke.
Dennis Boldt and Scott O’Hare will continue as assistant football coaches at HHS.