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Taking over the Holy Family boys soccer head coaching job presents Kathy Hogan many challenges. But one of the less obvious ones is how the Tigers girls soccer team’s long-time assistant plans to tackle her coaching duties.

Hogan enjoys getting into the mix when it comes to schooling her team on the finer points of soccer, stepping on the field and actually playing the game. But in keeping the Holy Family boys among the best in state, the new coach does not believe that strategy is the best option.

“It’s going to be more of a matter of gaining my players’ trust and respect,” Hogan said. “And getting them to understand I have their best intentions at heart.”

Hogan, one of two new coaching hires the school announced this week, is far from the first woman to coach on the boys side of soccer. Denver East ran to the Class 5A state championship last fall under the tutelage of Beth Hinz, an 11-year veteran with the Angels.

Hogan has worked with other boys programs in her coaching career. Earlier this past decade the former Arvada High School and University of Wyoming player was an assistant with Thornton. But from Hogan’s perspective, gender is the least of hers or the Tigers’ concerns in her first year with the program.

She inherits a team with sky-high expectations, fostered by a push to the Class 3A state semifinals last fall. But it is also a team that enters 2012 without two of its top players. Tigers leading scorer Alex Toderica (37 goals) and starting goalie Tucker Schneider (89 saves) plan to forgo their high school seasons. Both take a ton of talent away from Holy Family in focusing their soccer efforts with the Colorado Rapids Development Academy, Hogan said.

“Those are big holes to fill and we are definitely going to need some players to step up,” the new coach said.

Bryan Winther is Holy Family’s other coaching hire, taking over for long-time volleyball coach Trisha Kroll.

The former assistant also has big shoes to fill with volleyball among the school’s top performing girls programs. In 2011 the Tigers pushed into 3A state pool play and finished the season with a 21-7 record.

Winther has a long history with the volleyball, going back long before he joined the Tigers’ coaching staff. The coach’s roots, in part, stem from his playing days at Holy Family. The 2005 graduate helped found the school’s boys club program as a freshman. And he went on to play the sport in college with the University of Notre Dame’s club team.

Even with his strong resume, the new coach believes he has his work cut out for him.

“Trish was the 3A Coach of the Year last year, so there are some big shoes to fill,” he said. “The challenge is to keep all the good things going she brought to the program, while moving it forward.”

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