BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The great coaching shift in Stockdale's athletic department has begun: The school has hired boys basketball, baseball, boys soccer and boys golf coaches in the past month.
That's to go with a new athletic director, Jim Keene, and with girls basketball and wrestling coaching positions still open.
Here's what's happened so far:
* Brad Showers, the longtime junior-varsity coach, will take over the varsity baseball program. He replaces Dan Lemon, who won 380 games and two Central Section championships in 21 seasons.
"He's put in a lot of time, and it's hard to pass over a guy who has had success and put in his time," Keene said. "He was a good fit."
* Lemon, meanwhile, will try his hand at another sport: He's been officially named Keene's replacement as boys golf coach.
* Former Centennial girls soccer coach Eddie Votaw will head the Mustangs' boys soccer program.
Votaw most recently had been an assistant under Janien McGowan with the Mustangs girls. Votaw replaces longtime coach David Atkinson.
* Former Highland and Ridgeview coach Dave Purdy will replace Oliver Brown as boys basketball coach, as previously reported. Purdy, whose son, Robbie, is a rising junior for Stockdale, won the Division III section title in 2011 with Ridgeview.
* One still-gaping hole is for girls basketball, where all-time section wins leader Glenn Hager retired after his seventh trip to the Central Section Division I finals in eight years. Keene said he is still sorting through applicants for Hager's replacement.
* The most recent opening comes in the wrestling program, after coach Robert Fowler left to become an athletic trainer at Garces.
"We've got a lot of great candidates there," Keene said. "We're working on quickly filling those spots."
Fowler's move to Garces, by the way, is no coincidence: Rams athletic director Lela Steiber confirmed that the private school is starting its own wrestling program in time for the 2014-2015 school year.
"That's our plan; that's our intention," Steiber said. "We've hired Robert Fowler as our new athletic trainer, but of course, he's a great wrestling coach. It's certainly something we want to do."
When the Rams program launches, every major school in Kern County, which hosts the CIF State Championships, will offer the sport.
"We've been thinking about this for years, literally," Steiber said. "But actually putting all the pieces together and trying to get the program off the ground came in the last few months."
It also means Garces will have 21 varsity sports; it's the only Kern County school with water polo programs (Bakersfield Christian will become the second this fall).
"We have a desire to have a complete athletic program, and this was kind of the only thing we didn't have," Steiber said. "There's a demand for it at this school, too, so we're trying to accomplish that."