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Nine new coaches to join AU

Bree Gannon

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With the start of a new school year, comes the hiring of new faculty, staff and even coaches. This school year starts with the hiring of over seven new head coaches and assistant coaches. Each with the plan to improve the program to the best of their ability while also, having fun with their teams. Many of these coaches come from long lines of experience in the coaching world or from playing experience but for some, coaching is a something that is new to them as well.

Men’s Golf

After hiring Logan Cooke as the new men’s golf coach at the start of the season last year, the team will once again have a new person to learn from. Director of athletics Al King announced on July 13, Dennis North as the new head coach. North is the head golf professional at the Ashland Golf Club, which is also the team’s home course. Through AGC, North was able to make connections with the team before he was named as the coach.

Dennis North – Men’s Golf head coach

 

Every coach needs an assistant and the men’s golf team is getting a familiar face as theirs. Gabe Reynolds was named as the assistant coach for the men’s golf team. Reynolds is a 2017 graduate of Ashland University and a key leader for the team throughout his four years in the program. Reynolds started his collegiate career as a walk on and earned a starting spot. During his senior year, Reynolds was named team captain and placed in a tie for 29th in a field of 65 during the GLIAC Championships. He also set the course record at Mohican Hills Golf Club with a score of 64.

Women’s Golf

The women’s golf team is also entering this school year with a new coach as well. The team was coached by Andrew Bollinger last year and made their ninth straight NCAA regional appearance. This year the team is being led by Audrey Nelson, a former collegiate player and coach for the Big Walnut High School girls golf team. This is Nelson’s first collegiate coaching position but she brings along the knowledge she took away from her own collegiate playing experience.

Esports

After the announcement came that Esports would be joining AU in the Spring of 2018, the program has hired an assistant coach. Head coach Josh Buchanan announced the hiring of Travis Yang as his assistant. Yang comes from a prestigious background after he placed second at the Wichita eSports Convention in 2017 $1K Midwest Overwatch Tournament. He also ranks in the top one percent of the Hearthstone ladder. Yang is the co-owner of the Sloth E-Sports Club where he oversees operations and player and coaching recruitment.

Women’s Soccer

After a public battle with cancer, head coach Danny Krispinsky is stepping aside from his coaching duties for this upcoming season. Taylor Clarke, former women’s soccer graduate assistant, is stepping in as the interim head coach. Clarke is coming off an assistant coaching position at Calvin (Mich.) College, where he helped, leading the Knights to a 21-1-1 record and a NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen appearance. Clarke is also bringing on the help from former player Alyssa Gervelis as the graduate assistant.

Taylor Clarke – Women’s soccer interim head coach

 

Men’s and Women’s Tennis

On July 10, the director of tennis operations Lexi Bolesky announced the hiring of Christian Hamilton as the men’s and women’s tennis program assistant coach. He will be helping Bolesky in the management of both teams, individual instruction, recruitment and budgeting. The athletic department announced last fall that they were going to be adding men’s tennis as a varsity sport. Hamilton was the assistant men’s and women’s tennis coach at Allegheny (Pa.) College and he also spent a season and a half as the assistant coach at his alma mater of Lindenwood University-Belleville.

Football

The biggest coach that is being added to the athletic department so far this year is a former NFL quarterback who played for the Cleveland Browns from 2005-2007. Charlie Frye was named as a volunteer wide receivers coach for this upcoming season. Frye is joining a staff of familiar faces and former coaches. Current head coach Lee Owens was the head coach at Akron University when Frye was just starting his career in 2001. Frye was a third-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and completed 64.1 percent of his passes for the Browns, a record that stands as the second-highest single-season mark in history.

Charlie Frye – Wide Receivers coach

Women’s Basketball

After back-to-back undefeated regular seasons, a national title and a national runner-up title, the women’s basketball team was unstoppable and that was partially due to head coach Robyn Fralick. It was announced in April that Fralick would be stepping down to take a head coaching position at Bowling Green. The open spot was given to Associate Head Coach and former All-American for the eagles, Kari Pickens. Pickens was the assistant for five years and helped lead the team to their historic success. As a player, Pickens was apart of the 2013 national championship team and had 1,414 points which landed her at the seventh of all time slot. She also finished with 903 rebounds, placing her the fourth-most all time. Pickens also holds the record for single-game rebounds sitting at 24. This position marks Pickens as the program’s 13th head coach.

Kari Pickens – Women’s Basketball head coach

Athletic Strength & Training

The athletic department itself is also getting a new coach after Al King announced Anthony Bland as the assistant strength and conditioning coach. Bland graduated from Peru State College in 2012 and worked in strength and conditioning at Marshall and Missouri Baptist. Bland is coming from Morehead State where he created and implemented a year-round program for their varsity teams. The hire of Bland is to help out the strength and conditioning coordinator, Malcolm Majesky.

Anthony Bland – assistant strength and conditioning coach

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