Sunday, August 06, 2006
By DEREK BELT
A new school year and a new sports season means new faces for many schools in the area, and the hiring of former Robertsdale coach Jay Koziol as Gulf Shores' new defensive coordinator highlights a short list of newcomers to south Baldwin County's two public high schools.
Koziol, who was transferred from his post as Golden Bears head coach back in February, joined the Dolphins' staff around the time of their May 12 spring game against Madison Academy. Since then, he has played an integral role in what has likely been Gulf Shores' most successful summer ever.
"I'm extremely happy to be here," said Koziol, who will also coach boys golf at Gulf Shores. "I have the utmost respect for (GSHS Principal) Eddie Tyler and his staff, and that filters on down to coach (Duane) Davis and the rest of the coaches here.
"What it came down to for me is that Baldwin County's my home. I didn't feel comfortable moving, and I always felt comfortable coming down here. It's definitely going to be a challenge this year, but I'm excited to see what we can do on the football field. I think we've got a lot of good players."
Davis said Koziol's presence has been felt in many ways. His experience and leadership abilities have already impacted players and coaches alike, said Davis.
"Any time you can get a guy who's been a head coach for eight years, it's great. That kind of experience, you just can't get," Davis said. "Coach Koziol brings a lot of knowledge of the X's and O's to our staff, and he brings a lot of enthusiasm, too.
"What I really like is that he's constantly teaching and coaching," Davis added. "He's worked well with the kids so far, and we're very happy to have him here."
Also joining the Dolphins' coaching staff this fall are Anthony Kummel, Rhett Tranchina, Amy Galemore, Martin Sepic and Thad Akins, who joined the staff last spring as the new girls basketball coach. He will also help coach the freshmen football team this fall.
Kummel will coach running backs and head the boys basketball program, while Tranchina will coach defensive backs and coach the boys soccer team. Galemore will coach the boys and girls swimming teams, and Sepic will coach girls tennis.
Up the road at Foley High, several new coaches have joined the Lions' pack.
Tatum Saltz has been tapped to coach boys soccer, while Jeremy Borchardt will coach the JV boys soccer squad.
Ricky Smither will take over for Russ Moore as boys track and field coach after assisting with the football team as defensive line coach. Peter Bezeredi has also been brought on board to be an assistant baseball coach and help with the freshmen football team.
The Lady Lions' volleyball team is currently without a head coach, as school officials are waiting patiently for the Baldwin County Board of Education to approve that hire at the next board meeting.
In the meantime, Mark Mueller has stepped up to spearhead a group of volunteers who will guide the team through the first few weeks of practice. Foley Principal Kenneth Dinges said Thursday the Lady Lions should have a coach in place by mid-August.