Park City’s revolving coach door
July 8, 2007
Park City High School isn’t the only thing getting a renovation this year.
The athletic department has been undergoing significant changes in the last few months that will give the sidelines and home benches a whole new look this year.
Rest assured, it wasn’t any mass migration from the land of the Miners due to disgruntled workers or internal issues. Still, Park City Athletic Director Doug Payne had had his share of exit and hiring interviews.
A total of six coaches left or were asked to leave their positions. Most have already been replaced, said Payne.
The coaching run-down:
Recommended Stories For You
Football- Brandon Matich and his staff will return to try and seal another Region 10 title.
Volleyball – Ed Potts, who took over the program as interim head coach after the dismissal of Josh Fisher, was named head volleyball coach for this season.
Cross-country – Bill Kahn resigned as co-head coach at the end of last season ending a 22-year stint with the program. Co-coach Jeff Wyant will assume direction of the entire squad.
Girls soccer – Matt Evans resigned at end of last season to get married and move to Riverside, Calif. New Park City transplant Pete McGovern was hired as head coach in June.
Girls tennis – Lori McMahon will return as head coach.
Golf – Tim Jeffrey and George Murphy will continue to head the program.
Boys basketball – Troy Buford resigns mid-season. Matt Nagel takes over the team for the duration of Region 10 schedule. Payne decided to open the position after the season. West Jordan assistant coach Jim Boyce was hired in late spring as new head coach.
Girls basketball – Steve Crandall resigned at the end of the school year to become a director at the new Summit Charter School in Salt Lake. Assistant girls basketball coach Matt Mapstone was promoted to head coach.
Swimming- Head coach Matt Hayes resigned following the season to go back to school. Park City age-group swim coach Mike Werner hired as new head coach.
Wrestling- Eric O-Conner and Chris Spieler will continue to share coaching duties.
Baseball – Howard Hoyt will return for second-year as head coach.
Softball- Scott Chester returns for his second year as well. Payne comments that he saw a marked improvement in softball fundamentals after Chester took the reins of the program.
Track- Crandall resigned. Jeff Wyant will continue as head coach. Jeff Schwalbe, who left the program for one season, will make the decision to return to the team before the beginning of the school year.
Boys tennis – Scooter Mastain is returning for a second season.
Boys soccer – Head Coach Mike Guetschow was fired at the end of the season. The position opened at the beginning of the month. Payne says, thus far, only girls coach Pete McGovern has applied. Interviews will begin in August with a decision to be made in early fall.
Payne says that he regrets seeing the coaches leave, many of them having coached all-state athletes and taking with them region and state titles.
"It’s hard to lose some of these people," Payne said.
The interview panel generally includes Payne, one or two parents from the specific sports program, and one or two Park City High School staff members. He says the group represents all aspects of a student-athlete’s needs.
He also points out that many of the new coaches have already had some experience with the program and he expects the changes to be minimal.
"They’ll follow right along, adding to the philosophy," Payne said.
He also says that in most cases, finding a suitable replacement hasn’t been difficult.
"Park Cty has such a good reputation," Payne said. "It just sort of falls into place."
Still, the athletic department has been rocked by transition for awhile now, so Payne has chosen to focus on the positive.
"Something brand new will not change the attitudes of the players, but bring a different focus," Payne said.
All-in-all, he just excited to see the new life the staff will bring to the program.
"These coaches just want to take it to another level if they can," Payne said. "They’re confident."