HOLGATE — A pair of coaching vacancies are expected to be filled when the Holgate Schools Board of Education meets Monday. Both varsity volleyball and boys basketball coaching positions are up for vote, and Holgate Athletics Director Richard Finley didn’t have to go far to find either person.
Heather Finley, the wife of Richard Finley, is set to become the new volleyball coach, a position that has been vacant since Sue Meister retired back on Nov. 19, while Sean Koblis, who has been an assistant coach for the Holgate boys basketball team for the past six years, will replace Brad Hurst, who resigned on May 13.
Richard Finley said he was pleased to have a full compliment of coaches, especially with the high school fall sports season set to begin Aug. 1 with practices.
“Volleyball was more of a concern because their first game is Aug. 22 and they have a scrimmage scheduled the first week of August,” said Richard Finley. “I have found out that with a small school in a rural community there are a lot of challenges. There is a lot of good to being in a small community, but it comes with challenges and one of them is finding coaches.
“I reached out to Bowling Green State University and Defiance College and three or four volleyball clubs (for a new coach),” Finley continued. “Found out what I was looking for was right under my nose.”
This will be the first varsity coaching position for Heather Finley, who played volleyball at Baldwin-Wallace University.
“Coaching is always something I was interested in, but because of career and family it wasn’t the right time,” said Heather Finley. “Now the timing works and the opportunity was there. Not having coaching experience I think a small school is a good place to start. We have good girls in the program so I decided to take on the challenge.”
The new volleyball coach said she hasn’t decided on any particular style of play for the Lady Tigers, waiting to assess the players in the program when she can begin working with them.
“I want to have a good team atmosphere,” she said. “There is going to be a learning curve with it being my first year coaching. Overall, I want it to be a positive experience for them.”
“I am biased, but I think Heather has a way of getting along with people and is a good leader,” said Richard Finley. “She’s going to be a great fit for us.”
The Holgate AD is also excited about Koblis taking over the boys basketball program.
“Sean has been on staff for six years, all under Brad Hurst,” said Richard Finley. “Last year he was the head JV (junior varsity) coach. We are really excited to have Sean. I know that he is dedicated to Holgate basketball and he lives in the community. For Sean it is the utmost importance that he does a good job as coach.”
“I have always loved coaching,” said Koblis. “I was fortunate to coach with Brad Hurst for six years. I wasn’t ready to give up coaching and this opportunity came. There is no better time like the present.
“I believe in these kids and this community,” Koblis continued. “I live in Holgate. I know how much a part this team is to the community and I am excited to lead them.”
Koblis said he doesn’t plan to make drastic changes to the program.
“I liked what we were already doing,” he said. “We were defensive oriented and I am the same way. That’s the old Holgate way, value every possession. That is the key to success.
“I know that every team is different,” added Koblis. “The team we have coming up has a lot of spot-up shooters. We need to create opportunities for them.”
Both coaches are expected to be voted on by the school board Monday at 6 p.m. in the high school library.