For the first time in three years, North Fremont is getting a new volleyball coach. The school hired Rochelle Hoffner to lead the team after previous coach, Leslee Wilson, resigned this spring.
Wilson is taking a break from coaching to care for her newborn son. Wilson and her husband, Clayton, have three other boys.
“She did a great job,” said North Fremont athletic director Jodi Beard. “Her and I worked really well together. I certainly understand [why she would resign] with a new baby and three little boys.”
After Wilson resigned, Hoffner was the clear choice to take her spot. She has coached with North Fremont programs for the last seven years including junior high and club teams. Last year she coached North Fremont’s junior varsity team.
“It was a pretty obvious choice for us,” Beard said. “She does a great job. She brings a lot of excitement to the volleyball court. She’s a reliable solid person.”
A big part of the reason North Fremont administration chose Hoffner was her experience in the program.
“She’s coached for us for years and done a great job,” Beard said. “She has a positive attitude and she’s great with the girls. She also works well with the administration.”
Several factors went into Hoffner’s decision to apply for and take the position.
“I just really love coaching,” Hoffner said. “I love the game. I just enjoy all the aspects that go along with coaching so I wanted to give it a run.”
Hoffner also teaches kindergarten at Ashton elementary.
The new volleyball coach has several aspects to her coaching strategy.
“As I come into this program, I hope to produce a confident, industrious team,” Hoffner said. “I focus a lot on mental toughness and resilience and, obviously, on the fundamentals as well. I preach hard work and effort quite a bit. My staff and I have talked a lot about focusing on the mental aspect, which I think sometimes has been lacking in our program.”
Hoffner looks to switch a few things up with the way Lady Husky practices are run.
“I like to run a pretty fast-paced, dynamic practice,” Hoffner said. “[I want them to] play a lot of volleyball and get a lot of touches on the ball. I don’t like a lot of standing around waiting to play.”
Hoffner thinks her four seniors will lead the team and a strong group of sophomores will follow.
“I’ve coached the group of sophomores through some successful seasons,” Hoffner said. "They’ve had some winning seasons so I feel like we have strong underclassmen coming in. It’ll be interesting to see how we all mix in but I’m optimistic. I think this is a great group of girls who have potential.”
Darci Heiner, who also coaches North Fremont softball, will be Hoffner’s assistant varsity coach and Hill Goedhart will coach the JV.
“He’s coached a little volleyball — not a lot,” Hoffner said. “He coached a couple club season. He coaches a lot of softball and baseball. But, in a small town, if you coach one sport you kind of end up coaching all the sports. Hill will be an asset too. He has a good coaching philosophy that I like.”
Hoffner inherits a young team with only a few seniors and no juniors but she wants them to compete.
“I just want to come in and I hope to play some competitive volleyball,” Hoffner said.
North Fremont started practice on Monday and will play their first game of the 2019 season Aug. 29 against Teton in Driggs.