It’s been an interesting summer so far for Mingus Union High School Athletic Director Mike Boysen. He’s had a few head coach positions open up at the end of spring and has worked tirelessly to fill them.
On July 13, Boysen officially ended the search for a new volleyball coach. He didn’t have to look far, naming three-year assistant coach Brian Herman the Marauders’ next head volleyball coach.
“I think he’ll do a good job for us. He’ll be just fine,” Boysen said Tuesday.
Herman took over for longtime Mingus Head Coach Audrey Islas on an interim basis halfway through the 2010 season, but the title was not official until this week.
Islas took a leave of absence from the school and decided to make it a permanent decision at the end of spring, leaving the Marauders without a volleyball coach.
At first, Herman wasn’t interested in the job, stating that he thought it was better for the school to find a teacher to replace Islas’ class load first, preferably a teacher who would want to coach volleyball as well.
Midway through July, it didn’t look like Boysen was going to find a suitable replacement, thus coming to Herman to help him out.
“They had trouble filling the slot. Ideally the school needs to find a teacher that can coach volleyball too. But, I’m glad to be the new head coach. I look forward to working with the girls,” Herman said Tuesday.
Not far from Philadelphia sits a little town called Lancaster, Penn., where Herman grew up.
Living in the Verde Valley is a little different than growing up on the East Coast. The long, cold, 12-foot snowdrift winters are no longer present, and neither are bodies of water for that matter.
Trading oak trees and miles of green for desert and a few cacti couldn’t have been easy, but so far, Herman is making do.
Herman graduated from Penn Manor High School in 1997 before moving on to Pennsylvania State University.
Herman lasted only a semester at PSU before deciding to follow his dream to become a pilot and an aerospace engineer. He moved to Prescott Valley in 1999 to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
“I wanted to do it right and get into the flight program so I decided to move out here,” Herman said.
Herman lasted only two years in the program before dropping out due to financial reasons in 2001. He also met the love of his life in Kristy, who he married the same year.
“The student loans began to run out and I had huge bills so I had to stop. It was a tough decision,” Herman said.
Herman began work in a concrete masonry business his wife’s father owned, and has been doing it ever since. He is currently a concrete foreman. Herman and his wife Kristy have three children — Alek, 6, Anrika, 4, and Kalee, 3.
In high school, Herman played soccer and volleyball and was a second team All-Conference selection for volleyball his junior season.
Herman became interested in coaching volleyball at Mingus when he first moved to the Verde Valley 10 years ago, but never had the time to do so.
“I never had the time at first. But now, with the downturn in the economy, I have some time to work with the kids,” Herman said.
He joined the Mingus coaching staff in 2008 and has worked as the head assistant coach for three years until being named head coach this week.
“I’d like to maintain the level of play Audrey [Islas] did here and I think I can do that. We expect to make state, we expect to compete and we want to continue to build a strong program here at Mingus,” Herman said.
In his spare time, Herman likes to still play volleyball, participating in local recreation leagues, and he hunts and fishes.
Herman is a big Nittany Lions fan and likes to follow the Arizona Cardinals football team.
“I’m happy to be here and I look forward to this opportunity,” Herman said.