Column: Successful coaches highlight area coaching changes
Earlier this fall, I found myself wandering the halls of New Ulm High School before a volleyball game and I happened to run into a very familiar face in Stef Dietz.
Dietz was getting ready for the New Ulm volleyball varsity game at the time and was in a new role as a co-coach for the C-squad volleyball team at New Ulm High School with Alley Grejtak, a former New Ulm High School volleyball star in her own right. At the time, I wondered when Dietz was coming back to the head coaching ranks and it didn’t take long at all. She was recently named the new head coach at NUHS and she takes over next fall.
Dietz has been a volleyball coach for most of my 14 years here at The Journal. She was the head coach at Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s when I started way back in 2003 and she took over the New Ulm Cathedral program in 2007. Both times she built respectable programs in the Tomahawk Conference and in both instances she was well-respected by the coaches, players and parents at both programs, not an easy job in today’s coaching world.
Dietz seems to be the perfect fit for a program that has recently struggled. It’s only a matter of time before the program sees better days.
There are several new coaches in the area for the winter sports season as well. The Springfield girls’ basketball program has Dillon Schultz taking over the team. Schultz coached the younger levels at Springfield and he’s also the girls’ golf coach there. The Tigers’ golf program is one that is always tough and Schultz is a big reason why. That too should carry over to basketball.
Longtime Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop boys’ basketball coach Richard Busse made the switch and is now coaching the girls’ program there this winter. Busse is another coach who has built success at GFW and his girls’ team is getting mentioned as one of the teams in the Tomahawk Conference that will be tough this winter. First-year coach Jon DeRock is taking over Busse’s spot on the GFW boys’ bench.
These three coaches seem to have success follow them for good reasons. It’s going to be fun following all three of them as they build their respective programs in the next few years.