Brett Gilman takes over HHS golf program, while Darci Heninger is named head cross country coach
This summer, Havre High had several head coaching and assistant coaching jobs open up. But the Blue Pony board, as well as Blue Pony fans and athletes can rest a little easier, as two major coaching positions have been filled.
HHS Activities Director Dennis Murphy announced two new hirings.
As of Tuesday, the Ponies officially have a new head golf coach in Brett Gilman and a new head cross country coach in Darci (Briere) Heninger. Murphy was not flooded with applicants for either position, but with several quality applicants throwing their name into the hat, Murphy was able to pick two coaches that should be the perfect fit for these Blue Pony programs.
“We didn’t have a vast amount of interest,” Murphy said. “But the applicants that we did get were quality people, so we were very excited about that. Those were some big coaching holes to fill because fall is coming up, and now we have two quality individuals running our programs.”
Gilman has a lot of golf knowledge and experience, and should be a nice fit for the young Pony golf teams. Gilman was the Beaver Creek Golf Course superintendent from 1996 to 2003, and is currently the superintendent at Prairie Farms Golf Course, making the move across town in 2003. And with practice beginning Aug. 15, and the first meet at Prairie Farms on Aug. 20, Gilman’s knowledge of the game is going to come into play immediately.
“I have been around golf for 25-plus years,” Gilman said. “I have seen the kids out here golfing quite a bit, and I have been around some of them for a while now. I know we are going to be a young team, but I am excited to work with everybody and see where we can go.
“Brett coming in is a natural fit,” Murphy said. “He is a great golfer, he runs a golf course, and he has a lot of insight on how to coach and how to approach the game. Having him on board is really exciting for us.”
It is the same story for Heninger, as she too is set up to have solid coaching career.
Heninger used to run cross country for the Ponies, and has always dreamt of coaching the sport. She still runs for fun, and while she isn’t too familiar with her athletes either, she is excited for the opportunity.
“I have always talked about coaching cross county since I got out of high school,” Heninger said. "And about two months prior to the job opening, I had mentioned to my husband about how exciting it would be to coach, and if there was ever an opening that I would apply. I happened to see in the paper that there was opening later on, and quickly applied, got an interview, and got hired. It was perfect timing. I don’t know a lot of the kids, but I have watched results over the years to keep up with how the teams were doing. But since I haven’t met many of the kids, I am excited to meet them and see how the season goes.”
And the fact that Heninger is a former Blue Pony makes this an exciting hire for Murphy.
“Darci Heninger ran for us about six years ago and had some success,” Murphy said. “And her husband was an assistant tennis coach for us for years, too. We are keeping it in the family, and that is exciting when a Blue Pony comes back to coach. That typically means they had a good experience, so they want to come back and give to the program. That is a real positive thing for us.”
Both Gilman and Heninger are entering their first years of coaching, but are looking to get both programs up and running with success right from the get-go. Gilman will begin his golf coach career when HHS golfers begin practicing Aug. 15, while Heninger’s cross country teams get started Aug. 19.