By Katherine Sullivan, Staff Writer
For many, change can be difficult, and the athletics department has seen a lot of change, from welcoming a new athletic director to joining a new conference.
Some of the Newman baseball and softball athletes said they hope changes in the coaching staff will mark the beginning of a new chapter in the programs.
Previous head coach of the baseball team Zane Ehling stepped into an administrative role in Newman Athletics as Associate Athletic Director of External Operations, leaving room for new head coach Drew Maus to come in. Maus came from Henderson State University in Arkansas, where he worked as an assistant coach for five years.
Newman softball is also welcoming new softball head coach Andrea Gustafson to the roster. Formerly a coach at Seward County Community College, Gustafson has 15 years of experience as a head coach and has hopes of “building this program up.”
Jets softball player Sydney Kuhrt said she shares the desire for this season to be one of improvement.
“I am looking forward to starting a new conference with a new team and coaching staff, and just adding a new perspective to the team. I think this is the start to rebuilding this program.” Kuhrt said.
Gustafson has an idea of where this change will start.
“I believe that success happens by not only working hard but also being able to have fun while you do it,” Gustafson said. “I want there to be a family type atmosphere where we all have the same goals and are working to achieve those goals every day.”
The baseball team hopes to have a year of rebuilding as well. However, their focus lies in individual instruction to better the team.
Team member Jon Coufal said he has appreciated the emphasized focus on individualized improvement.
“Having this practice style early on is a good idea in my eyes as we can learn what exactly we need to work on and better it before we start team practices,” Coufal said.
Jet baseball player Derek Schumann agrees that this method will make a change this season.
“Our initial practices have been great because there’s more emphasis on each other, and if we make ourselves better, we will better the team,” said Schumann.
Overall, both groups said they are looking forward to the changes that are upon them, and that they are ready to put up a fight.
“My only concern heading into the MIAA is that the other teams aren’t going to know what hit them,” Coufal said. “The atmosphere of Newman is changing in a good way and we are going to leave a mark.”
PHOTO: Courtesy Photo. Newman Advancement.