By Jim Bastian
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM - New Ulm High School Activities Director Chad Eischens filled two vacant head coaching positions on Thursday with the hiring of Dan Reinhart as the girl's basketball coach and Kristen Faber as the girl's hockey coach.
Reinhart replaces Matthew Dick while Faber takes over for Angie Zeig. Both former coaches resigned after last season.
Both were assistants last year in their respective programs.
Reinhart, who has 19 years of experience coaching basketball at St. James High School, said he is looking forward to the challenge.
"I wanted to get back into being a head coach," said Reinhart, who was the head boy's basketball coach at St, James for four seasons. "I think that my experience as a head coach and as an assistant is an asset and I have experience working with the youth basketball program here along with the booster clubs."
Reinhart said making the adjustment from coaching a boy's program to a girl's program should not be difficult.
"Basketball is basketball," Reinhart said. "With the boy's game there is the size of the kids. But in my experience of coaching girls - I have a daughter that is playing - is that the girls want to be coached the same way. But the game is different because of the size of the kids.
"Girl's basketball and athletics has come a long way in that regard. They are into the weightroom just like the boys and are just as competitive so I do not see it as a lot of big changes."
One of the changes that Reinhart, who will be teaching sixth grade at Washington Elementary in New Ulm, wants to make is breaking a current 49-game losing streak that the Eagles have.
"Last year there were between six-to-eight games where they had opportunties to win," said Reinhart, who coached the Eagles "B" team last season. "But they had no experiences to draw on in winning a game that was close. Just getting over that mental part is big and to get that first win. Skill development, the youth program and the numbers that we do not have right now - there are not a whole lot of numbers and we need to get those numbers back up in the upper grades will be important down the line. Mentally it wears on you and it is in their minds that they cannot do it. You have to learn how to win."
Reinhart said that the kids have an equal opportunity to play at the lower level, giving them experience.
"In the time that I have coached kids are picking a sport and running with it -that starts at 5 and 6 years old. You have to get them interested in the game and to like the game."
Reinhart said that he and Eischens have not named any assistant coaches as of yet.
Faber, who was an assistant to Zeig last year, said she is excited for the opportunity to take over a successful program.
"I want to keep building this program," said Faber, who played high school hockey in Austin and college hockey for four years at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. "There is a solid foundation here from the U-10 and U-12 program and through the high school. We need to build upon those skills."
Faber said that the Eagles can play with any team.
"We played with Warroad last year in the state tournament - we stuck with them for the first couple of periods and that is positive,"?Faber said. "If we just keep working we will close that gap at the state level. We need to keep the intensity level each game."
Faber said that she and Chad Eischens are in the process of looking at assistant coaches.