By Tommy Keeler Jr.
Kenny Rinker knows how lucky he is. This offseason Central has had no head coaching turnover and the Falcons' athletic director knows how important that is.
"We're really blessed here at Central," Rinker said in a phone interview Monday. "We've been very fortunate these past few years."
Central isn't the only one with minimal turnover. Overall there will be only six new head coaches this year between the six area public schools combined.
Rinker said a key at Central has been hiring good young coaches who want to stick around.
"About two, three, four years ago we had trouble keeping some coaches," Rinker said. "It wasn't that the program was lacking, we just had people resigning for various reasons. We were lucky enough to get some good young coaches who are still here."
Stonewall Jackson will have a new volleyball coach, Lindsey Hoover, who was the JV volleyball coach last year.
"She's young, energetic, has experience playing," Stonewall Jackson athletic director Michael Fannin said. "She graduated from here, she came up through our program, so she knows a lot about it."
Fannin said the school will also be looking for a new girls soccer head coach, as Derek Hartwig has accepted an administrative position at Page County.
"Usually when somebody has left it's because they're moving on to something else, like career advancement or a family situation," Fannin said.
Strasburg also had very little turnover. Jordan Hardy, who is an assistant coach with basketball and baseball, will be the new golf coach as he takes Ricky Bowley's spot.
Strasburg athletic director Matt Hiserman said he will be a good fit for the program.
"He played college golf at Bridgewater, so we think he's a good find to take over the program," Hiserman said. "Coach [Bowley] did a real nice job with the program, and we think Jordan will probably piggy back off of some of the things coach Bowley did. Another positive aspect is the fact that he played golf as well. I think he'll do a real good job."
Skyline's only change will be with the boys soccer program. Chris Holloway resigned in the middle of the spring season, and assistant coach Denise Clatterbuck took over as the interim coach. Skyline athletic director Bill Cupp said they will try to get that filled as soon as they can.
Cupp said that there hasn't been a lot of turnover at the school in the last few years.
"We've been pretty steady here the last couple years," Cupp said. "We've been pretty lucky. We have a good staff."
New Warren County athletic director Ed Dike has only been on the job for a week, but he knows how important it is to have a staff intact. Dike said one of his top priorities is getting positions filled.
He said he expects to hire a cross country head coach and assistant coach very soon, and he is also going to work on finding a volleyball assistant as well.
Dike, who was the athletic director at Buckingham County before taking the Warren County job two weeks ago, said it is getting tougher to keep the coaches to stick around as long.
"It takes a lot of time. Coaches don't coach to be millionaires," Dike said. "They do it because they love it."
Sherando athletic director Jason Barbe knows a lot about having a staff that loves it and sticks around. Sherando's only head coaching change is volleyball, where James Minney was hired earlier this year. Minney is the former head coach who led the Warriors to the state final in 2005 and coached the program from 2002-07.
Most of Barbe's head coaches have been there for at least 10 years.
"Sherando has been able to keep a lot of people at the same postions, and I think that's one of the reasons we've been able to be so successful lately," Barbe said. "We have a lot of good people who have been doing it for a long time."
The lack of turnover in the area should help benefit the athletes. It allows them to get to know the coaches and have that continuity to be successful.
Hiserman said it also helps with the camaraderie of the staff.
"I think all the coaches here work well together, especially when it comes to offseason workouts, things like that," Hiserman said. "I've heard horror stories of coaches at other schools fighting over time with kids in different programs. All the coaches here get along. I think that's a big plus. If you're having a problem with one of the kids, you can go to another coach and ask for advice on how to handle it and things like that."
Hiserman said they've also been lucky to be able to replace head coaches with assistant coaches, someone who is already a part of the program.
Rinker said that they try to get coaches who are teachers, but even when they don't they've been lucky to get qualified coaches who know a lot about the sport.
All in all, Rinker said he's very happy about the coaches the school has.
"We've got veteran coaches. We've got young coaches," Rinker said. "We feel really good about the coaches we have."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd