Niwot athletic director Jim Butterfield didn't have to look far to find his next head volleyball coach.
Preston Brown had already been a part of the Cougars' resurgence the past two seasons, and Butterfield felt Brown would be a good fit to keep the good times rolling.
Butterfield hired the former assistant this week to replace Chris Koerner, who led the program for the past three seasons before resigning due to increased responsibilities at his day job.
"I'm excited," Butterfield said Wednesday. "I'm happy with the work he did with us before. ... But I think he also brings a new energy to his thumbprint that he'll put on the program. He has definitely earned the trust of the players and the parents."
Brown, 49, who works in the medical device industry, has been coaching in the area for five years.
He spent two years as an assistant at Silver Creek when his daughter Shaina played there, then took a year off from the high school ranks to coach club before joining Koerner's staff at Niwot. Koerner and Brown had been assistants together at SCHS.
Brown takes over a Niwot squad that has been on the upswing in recent years. The Cougars had been struggling mightily in the seasons just prior to Koerner's arrival. After going 7-11 in Koerner's first season, Niwot went 13-13 in 2011 and then 14-11 in the fall of 2012, reaching regional play in both seasons.
The Cougars graduate only three players off last fall's squad.
"I think it's a good group of kids," said Brown, who played the game competitively for several years after college before getting into the coaching ranks. "We've had a huge turnout the last couple of years. We've tried to develop kids as they come in. And that's starting to bear some fruits.
"I'm excited for the opportunity and hopefully we can continue the progress we've made the last couple of years."
Niwot is still searching for a boys soccer coach for next fall. Butterfield said he hopes to take applications for that position for a couple of more weeks and then start the interview process.
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