Bellevue West recently named two new coaches for the fall season of 2014, with both hires coming within the program.
Christina Reicks will take over the Thunderbird volleyball team and Shawn Semler will be the new head coach for T-bird softball.
Reicks is taking over for Sara Bayer, who’s husband, Craig, is in the Air Force and has been transferred to Texas. Bayer led West to a 41-35 record over the last two years, including a district runner-up finish this season.
“Sara did a tremendous job in her two years as head coach,” Bellevue West activities director Kevin Broderick said. “We’re definitely sorry to see her go as a coach and teacher, but we all knew and understood that we had a possibility of losing her due to a military move.”
Reicks played for West and was one of the leading hitters on the 2002 and 2003 state tournament T-bird teams. After concluding a solid career a playing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2007, Reicks joined the coaching staff at West and has been there since.
West is excited to have a former player at the helm, especially one from a time when the program was at its peak.
“Christina has coached at all levels in high school and club volleyball and has also developed a lot of great experience, so we’re extremely excited to have her take over the program,” Broderick said. “Christina was here when West volleyball was dominant in Nebraska and her goal is to get our girls back to the state tournament.”
Semler is another assistant who got the promotion, taking over the softball squad from Casie Onken. Onken recently had her third child and has decided to spend more time with her family.
In her seven seasons, Onken racked up 136 wins and two state tournament appearances (2006 and 2012).
“Casie really elevated the program and worked hard to bring along the younger players,” Broderick said. “I hate to see her go, but I understand that family comes first.”
Semler is currently teaching special education for the Bellevue Public Schools and takes over the T-birds with a full resume. He has held the head coaching position at Bellevue East, Marian, College of St. Mary and Southwest Minnesota State University before joining the T-birds this past season. His SMSU teams qualified for four NCAA Tournament during his tenure.
“Shawn brings a ton of experience to our program, so we’re very happy and fortunate to have him,” Broderick said. “He’s proven he can take programs to another level.”
Dragons name new softball coach
After one season as an assistant, Bill Heard will take over head coaching duties for the Gretna softball team next season.
Heard will replace Mike Moore, who resigned after eight season at the helm. Moore notched 111 wins with the Dragons and qualified for the state tournament in 2007 and 2010.
Heard comes in with 17 years of coaching experience, both in softball and basketball. He was head coach for boys basketball and softball at Ralston before he came to Gretna following the 2012-2013 school year. He will also be an assistant coach for the Dragon hoops team.