Hastings College has played host to multiple changes over the past year. Whether it be academics or the campus itself, students have seen more than their fair share of adjustments at HC, with athletics being no different. Over the summer, the head coaching position for three sports opened up: men’s soccer, men’s/women’s tennis and women’s golf.
The men’s soccer team spent their last two years with leadership from head coach Aaron Champenoy. Champenoy led the Broncos to two Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) titles and two appearances at nationals where they took first in 2016. For his role, Champenoy was named National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics/National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NAIA/NSCAA) National Coach of the Year. Overall Champenoy had a 43-3-2 record at HC before resigning and taking a role as the assistant athletic director and the men’s soccer head coach at Durango High School in Durango, Colorado. Champenoy expressed that this was a move he made in the best interest of his family.
Taking Champenoy’s place is someone who knows the HC men’s soccer program very well — assistant coach Tim Bohnenkamp. Bohnenkamp was assistant coach for the HC men’s team from 2009-2012. He helped lead the 2010 team to the program’s first-ever national championship, and a runner-up finish in 2011.
Bohnenkamp is coming off of a two-year tenure as the assistant head coach for a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Bohnenkamp will have big shoes to fill but has had a good start to the season, as the Broncos are currently 2-0 and sitting at 8th in the NAIA. Their first true test is today at 2:30 p.m. as they take on No. 2 Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas.
Men’s and women’s tennis still have the same two coaches as they did last year, just with the roles reversed. Mark Gueswell will now be the head coach as Comron Yazdgerdi steps down to be assistant coach for both teams.
“I’ll be honest, I now have the greatest coach in the world as my assistant,” Gueswell said. “It won’t be much of a difference, except in our roles. I might have some more duties that head coaches take care of, but really when it comes down to it, the title doesn’t matter much because we are both here to coach and serve these teams.”
Gueswell is also a former tennis standout who played at HC under Yazdgerdi from 2013-2017. Gueswell was an Honorable Mention All-American in 2017. Gueswell also was a GPAC Champion and All-Conference player all four years, as well as GPAC Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017.
“I’m assuming not a lot of people get to become a head coach for the team they played for only two years out of college,” Gueswell said. “It’s an incredible opportunity I’ve been given and I’m just thankful.”
Gueswell will start off his coaching career for the women on Sept. 8, as the Broncos host Fort Hays State University. The men’s team will travel to Fremont for the GPAC Invite on September 14.
William Sharp will be taking over the women’s golf program after six years under head coach Pete Dudley. Sharp has 15 years of competitive golf experience, competing in the U.S. Open Qualifiers, as well as the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
“I have not had any previous experience with formally coaching golf,” Sharp said. “Every swing is different. Watch some of the biggest names in golf swing a club, and that truth will become obvious even among the best. However, it is not just their understanding of the mechanics of golf that can affect the ball’s flight. Far more important is continuing to enjoy the game and give back to it even after a bad shot, round or season.”
Sharp is taking over a program that has struggled in the past and that seems to be relatively inexperienced this year with only two sophomores and three first-years on the current roster. Sharp wants to take this opportunity to help these athletes grow into strong students and true lovers of the game.
“Our three primary goals for this year are to (1) maintain or kick off each individual’s strong academic career; (2) improve our abilities and learn new tools for managing the course; and (3) recruit a strong class of new girls who mesh with our team’s culture but also push each other to always be better,” Sharp said.