Piqua Daily Call
It has been a busy time for Piqua athletic director Chip Hare.
And,while he may not exactly be spending his time the way he would prefer, he knows it is just part of the job.
Piqua has seven new varsity coaches this year — including three this spring and will have two new varsity coaches in the fall.
“No AD is going to tell you he wants to spend his time hiring coaches,” Hare said. “But, when you look at the openings we have had, most of them are life issues. Either coaches retiring, over having a baby, things like that.”
Jordan Drake was hired last week as varsity volleyball coach next season after Liana Michael stepped down to spend time with her family.
Drake has been involved with both the high school and junior high programs over the last three years, coaching the junior high teams the last two years.
“Sometimes, you want to have your best assistant at the junior high level,” Hare said. “Jordan (Drake) has been involved with the program all three years at Piqua. Not only does she have great qualifications, she had a great vision for where she wants the program to go.”
Hare said the transition will be a smooth one, much because of the job Michael did as coach.
“We feel like we have a strong tradition in volleyball,” Hare said. “Jordan (Drake) does have to make a lot of changes. She can build on what Liana (Michael) did during her time as coach. She is familiar with just about every face in the program, so she knows the players.”
The other new fall coach is Tyler Bergman, who will be taking over as girls golf coach after Cathy Barhorst retired. Bergman was an assistant the last several years.
“You hear people talk about gym rats,” Hare said. “Tyler (Bergman) is kind of the golf version of that. He is always out there (at the golf course) working with the girls. He has a great relationship with the players and again, Cathy (Barhorst) has done a great job with the program and he can just build on that.”
There are three new coaches this spring.
Campbell takes over for Rick Claprood, who retired after last season.
“People talk about how are you going replace a coach like Rick Claprood?” Hare said. “Well, Greg (Campbell) has built on what Rick (Claprood), along with a few things he feels like can be done a little differently.”
The results have been good so far.
“Greg (Campbell) told me in the three scrimmages they had an error in the first inning, but in two of them that was the only error they had all game,” Hare said. “They won all three scrimmages, so we are excited to see what is going to happen.”
Gillespie takes over as coach after Dave Williams retired.
Gillespie coached the girls basketball team, before moving over to varsity assistant for the boys program this season.
“It is great to have Brian (Gillespie) back in the fold,” Hare said. “Brian, along with the coaching of Jon Dolph this year, laid the foundation for the success the girls basketball program this year and we are hoping he can do the same thing with the tennis program. His experience in coaching, along with him having played the sport are a positive thing.”
Frazier is no stranger to coaching or Piqua athletics.
The long time coach has been varsity cross country coach, as well being an assistant coach in track for years.
“Steve (Frazier) has been around Piqua athletics for more than 20 years,” Hare said. “Everybody knows Fraz (Steve Frazier).”
Hare said it was an easy decision to hire Frazier.
“He knows a lot of the runners,” Hare said. “He is a natural fit for the program and works really well with the kids.”
And now, Hare hopes he will have more time to spend on the more enjoyable parts of his job —- including watching these coaches help Piqua athletes achieve their goals and beyond.
Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org