|9/23/2013 1:40:00 PM|
Byron graduate settles in as volleyball coach
|Coach Owen Hoegh talks strategy with his team during a timeout in the recent Hayfield match. Hoegh takes over leading the team this year, replacing long-time coach Jane Krier, who stepped down after last season. Photo by Keith Garvens.|
By David Richards
They say you can't go home again, but don't tell that to Owen Hoegh.
A 2000 graduate of Byron High School and a standout for the baseball team that went to state his senior year, Hoegh (pronounced Hoyg) was hired this season as head volleyball coach.
"It was an opportunity that was pretty special," he said. "To coach varsity athletes at the school you actually played for is exciting."
Hoegh was a three-sport athlete at Byron, playing football, basketball and baseball.
He played baseball for Augustana College in South Dakota and was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies organization, relocating to Clear Water, Fla.
Following a stint with professional baseball, Hoegh came to a conclusion.
"I ultimately decided I wanted to teach and coach," he said.
After moving from Florida back to South Dakota, Hoegh coached volleyball, basketball, football and track at Memorial Middle School and has spent the past year as assistant volleyball coach at Lincoln High School, where his sister, Lisa Lunning, is head coach and is also a 2005 Byron graduate.
Lincoln visited Byron this past weekend for a non-conference match. Results were not available by press time.
Lunning helped Hoegh this summer with Byron volleyball camps, so both are familiar with each other's teams.
"She knows our girls; and I know their girls," he said.
In addition to Lunning being a standout volleyball star in high school, Hoegh's father played in U.S. volleyball association leagues.
"I've been around the game my whole life," Hoegh said.
Hoegh moved back to Byron with his family, wife Leah, and daughters Clara, 6, Elsie, 4, and Ada, 1.
In addition to coaching, he teaches eight grade STEM at Byron Middle School, a new course that stands for science, technology, engineering and math that is offered to every eighth grader.
As far as volleyball goes, Hoegh has big shoes to fill as he takes over for longtime coach Jane Krier, who chose not to return after 21 seasons.
He seems up to the challenge.
"She did a great job," he said. "My sister played for her."
Byron High School principal Michael Duffy called Hoegh, "a great hire."
"He was a senior during my first year here," Duffy said. "And he was one of the students I noticed by his character and reputation."
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