Two new Garden City High School spring sports head coaches were confirmed during Monday’s USD 457 Board of Education meeting.
The board approved the hiring of Justin Reich to take over the baseball program, and confirmed that GCHS head football coach Brian Hill also will head the track program.
Reich will be a first-time varsity head coach, after serving as an assistant in Trina Moquett’s GCHS softball program. The Junction City native is a social studies teacher at Horace Good Middle School and has been with the district for seven years, said GCHS Athletic Director Drew Thon. Reich also has coached football.
Hill, meanwhile, is a head coaching veteran, leading the GCHS football program for the last seven years.
Thon lauded both hires on Monday.
“One of the big things we appreciate about Justin is he does a great job of understanding program building,” Thon said. "He understands the things we need to do to get baseball to where we need it … building a youth program and setting that foundation and go up through the high school ranks.”
That’s something Hill has successfully completed in Garden City since taking over the football program, including youth tackle football teams in practices every week and attempting to maintain continuity in each age division.
“He was able to grow a program from 60 to 70 kids (trying out for football) to having 140 kids,” Thon said of Hill.
Hill also has been an assistant for the track team, so “He knows the ins and outs of what needs to be done inside of the track program,” Thon said. “There’s just so many kids involved and so many coaches involved (in track), it’s about being able to manage a large organization.”
Hill will now head the two largest programs at the Class 6A school. But Thon sees that as a positive, referencing what Ryan Cornelsen has done at Hutchinson as head coach for both football and track and field.
“Successful coaches are successful coaches, and you want to be able to use successful coaches in as many ways as possible,” Thon said.