TRAVERSE CITY — The offer was too good for Tim Homa to turn down.
Homa, who was named St. Francis volleyball coach earlier this year, has taken a job in Lake Geneva, Wis., as a regional coaching director for a youth ministry camp.
"I'll be building relationships with youth pastors and training youth to be leaders," Homa said. "We're trying to change the youth culture in a positive way."
After stepping down as the varsity head coach at TC Central following the 2009 season, Homa was ready to get back to volleyball this fall with the Gladiators. But then the job opportunity arose.
"I'm a youth guy," Homa said. "I felt like this was an opportunity for a new chapter. This puts me closer to my family (in the Chicago area). And my daughter is going to be going to (Judson University) only an hour away."
"We're excited for Tim and his family," St. Francis athletic director Tom Hardy said. "We're sorry that we didn't get the full experience with him coaching our kids, but what he's done already has been great."
With Homa's exit, St. Francis will turn to Rita Jones and Heather Simpson to co-coach the varsity team. They've led the JV for the last two seasons.
"They've had two great years as our JV coaches, and they both bring such unique qualities that they'll balance each other perfectly," Hardy said. "Heather is just an absolutely fantastic coach, doesn't matter what sport. She relates to kids just tremendously, and it doesn't matter where she's been. The YMCA, TC Central and with our kids at St. Francis. And Rita brings a real technical aspect, as well as being great with kids. Rita was our assistant softball coach, and is coming off a successful spring season at the varsity level."
Two years ago, Simpson took the JV job just before the season began without any volleyball experience. So she called on her friend, Jones, to help out.
"The first year, it started out as they hired her but she didn't have a volleyball background," Jones said. "She asked me to come help out. It just kind of works. Whatever one of us lacks, the other fills in that void."
"The kids see us working together," Simpson said. "That's the reason it's cool for us being co-coaches. We stress teamwork day in and day out. But if we can't work together, why would they? So they see us working together, trying to put out the best product for them. We're honest, we don't agree on everything. But that's okay. We're still working together and we're working towards the same goal of putting the best team on the floor.
"The downside is you have two coaches screaming at you. But the upside is you have two coaches that are your biggest fans. And that's program wide. We want to see kids be successful."
Besides being the JV volleyball coaches, Simpson and Jones have plenty of coaching experience. Jones coached volleyball at TC West for a season several years ago, but had to give it up because it was played in the winter season when her job as a Certified Public Accountant became busy. She also coached with Mike Kowalski this spring with St. Francis softball. And Simpson has been coaching at TC Central for basketball and softball for years.
"That's the part that's really attractive about them," Hardy said. "They know kids. And when you know kids, results are going to follow. They fit the mission of our school perfectly. And they're great people. When you can have two female role models teaching females about life, it's a great thing."
The co-coaches are excited about the team they're taking over.
"They're pretty darn good at volleyball," Jones said. "And they're really in to volleyball. They want to be there, they want to work hard and they want to get better. That makes coaching that much more enjoyable."
Simpson likes their chances to make a tournament run to Battle Creek, with the Class C district at Glen Lake, regionals at St. Francis and the quarterfinal at TC West.
Homa said he knows the duo will do well.
"The one thing I walk away with absolute confidence is the job they're going to do," Homa said. "I've watched them for years and they work very well together. It also doesn't hurt that the year they take over, the varsity has its best talent. They have some college-caliber athletes. It's going to be a phenomenal program."
Jones and Simpson will be hosting a camp this week. Grades 4-8 will go from 5-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. High schoolers will go Wednesday and Thursday from 7-9 p.m.
Pair will co-coach Gladiators' team
TRAVERSE CITY — The offer was too good for Tim Homa to turn down.
FINAL: Beal City 15, Glen Lake 0
Beal City cruised to a 15-0 win over Glen Lake in a Division 4 baseball state semifinal in Battle Creek Friday.Continued ...
UPDATE: Beal City 1, Glen Lake 0
In the fourth inning, Glen Lake trails Beal City 1-0 in a Division 4 baseball state semifinal at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek Friday.Continued ...
Race director Bob McLain said around 600 cyclists participated last year, and they already have that many signed up for this weekend’s event.Continued ...
Editorial: Battle over sign leaves a bad taste
The issue: Airport finally puts up sign for veterans. Our view: It didn’t happen until public got involved.Continued ...
TC Senior Center to receive face-lift
Bill and Linda Lawshe haven’t had a summer off in 30 years, so the recently retirees were pleased to learn they’ll be able to enjoy a remodeled city bayfront senior center.Continued ...
Horizon Books co-owner wins Lyle DeYoung award
Amy Reynolds always believed in downtown Traverse City’s retail corridor, even when the trend was for business owners to race off and set up shop at the nearest mall.Continued ...
Erotic novel gets musical treatment
It’s raucous, sexy and naughty — everything a musical parody of the runaway bestselling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” should be.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 06/14/2013
Teacher morale low; 2nd Amendment; Hurts many families. (Plus more)Continued ...
Glen Lake set for Beal City in semis
Glen Lake baseball coach Kris Herman said you need three things to win a state title: Pitching, good defense and the ability to scrape out runs. A fourth factor doesn’t hurt: Luck.Continued ...
Building Permits: 06/14/2013
Building permits issued in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
Film Fest breaks ground on new movie house
City officials have brought down the house — or at least the roof — for the Traverse City Film Festival and its fast-track effort to convert the Con Foster Museum into a movie theater.Continued ...
National Geographic exhibit comes to Dennos
What gives at the Dennos Museum Center? “Dancing. Feathers, Shameless Exhibition,” says one flyer for its newest exhibition that opens Sunday and runs through Sept. 22.Continued ...
Longtime choir director retires from TC West post
The curtain is closing on Russ Larimer’s 26-year career as a Traverse City Area Public Schools’ choir teacher and director.Continued ...
Beach Bums thump Florence on road
The Traverse City Beach Bums unleashed a 15-hit attack Thursday night in thumping the Florence Freedom 8-5 in a Frontier League contest.Continued ...
The Record: 06/14/2013
Assumed names filed in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
Actor John C. Reilly stages benefit for Vogue
An unexpected call from well-known actor John C. Reilly was a welcome surprise to supporters of Manistee’s Vogue Theatre.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 06/14/2013
Mushroom hunt; Consignment sale; Crafts and cars. (Plus more)Continued ...
Man gets prison for assaulting girlfriend
A man could spend up to 10 years in prison for assaulting his girlfriend.Continued ...
Night Life Calendar: 06/14/2013
What's happening after dark around northern Michigan:Continued ...
Plan: Dissolve school districts in deficit
Michigan lawmakers are considering legislation that would grant the state the power to dissolve public school districts that are in financial deficit.Continued ...
Bandrowski succeeds Murphy at TCSF
Annie Murphy, who led the St. Francis boys tennis team to three consecutive top-six finishes in Division IV, has stepped down.Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 06/14/2013
New this week — Before Midnight, This is the End, and Man of Steel:Continued ...
Sheriff to offer free ORV safety course
The course will be Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Twin Lakes Camp, 6800 North Long Lake Road.Continued ...
Annual disc golf tournament to honor Carly Lewis
The two-day tournament takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Carly Jean Lewis Playground at Mt. Holiday Ski Resort.Continued ...
Federal money going to Benzie, Leelanau
Benzie and Leelanau counties will receive a total of $121,000 to offset property tax losses from nontaxable federal land within their borders.Continued ...
- FINAL: Beal City 15, Glen Lake 0