Two coaching vacancies at Napoleon High School are set to be filled during a school board meeting Wednesday.
According to the school board’s agenda, which was released Friday, Danielle Cramer is to be hired as the next varsity volleyball coach, while Kevin Milius will take over the girls track and field coaching position on an interim basis.
Cramer was the varsity assistant coach for the Lady Cats last season under Denine Cramer, who stepped down after two seasons leading the program. Danielle Cramer is Denine Cramer’s daughter-in-law.
“Volleyball is my passion,” said Danielle Cramer, who was a junior varsity coach at Patrick Henry for three seasons. “I love the sport. I want the kids to love it just as much as I love it.”
Napoleon Athletics Director Andy Ham said Cramer’s enthusiasm for the sport was a big factor in the decision to hire her.
“Throughout the interview process she was very passionate about being in charge and starting a new vision for the program,” said Ham. “She also taked about longevity and continuity, something the program really needs.”
Danielle Cramer will be the fifth volleyball coach in seven seasons at Napoleon. The Lady Cats have lost 20 games in each of the last seven seasons.
“It’s a little daunting,” said Danielle Cramer about playing in the tough Northern Lakes League, which makes up 14 games per year on the schedule. “Last year I don’t think we had any problem being competitive. The girls never backed down from a challenge, which is wholeheartedly Denine’s doing. She pumped the girls up to believe they could play with anyone.
“That was one of the things that made me really want to take over the program,” added Cramer. “The girls are just amazing.”
“This is not going to be an overnight process, but she is going to do things to get us going in the right direction,” said Ham. “I am very confident the student-athletes are going to have a very positive experience with her as the coach. I am excited about what she can do and to get started.”
Cramer added she wants to try and build the youth program at Napoleon.
“I have a lot of plans,” said Cramer. “I really want to get into the youth programs. If we can teach the girls game skills at a younger age, then when I get them they are going to be better coachable girls.
“I would like to have something for fourth through sixth grades and I would have my varsity team coaching it,” added Cramer. “To me, if you are coaching something your understanding of that is much better.”
Milius returns to coach the Napoleon girls track and field coach after being non-renewed after the 2014 season.
Randy Burke took over for Milius in 2015 and is currently suspended without pay after sexual harassment charges were brought against him. Burke is facing felony charges.
Milius remained as an assistant coach with the track and field program the past three seasons. This will be his 32nd year as the head coach for the Lady Cats and has more than 1,500 wins between dual and tri-meets and invitationals.
“Kevin stepped up and wanted to make sure the girls had an easy transition,” said Ham. “He knows the program and will be able to take over and keep things going at a high level.”
“I wanted to provide some continuity,” said Milius. “We’re in this situation.
“I enjoy doing what I do,” added Milius. “We have some young coaches that eventually will take over the program. I hope to help them and show them the ropes.”
Milius, along with Ken Bostelman and Sara Gilson have already been running practices, and Ham said there have been no issues.
“Practices have been going very well,” said the Napoleon AD.
Both contracts for Cramer and Milius are expected to be approved at the board meeting Wednesday.
Napoleon still has vacancies for cross country and boys basketball head coaches.