Winters Mills adds Shank, Vaughn to coaching roster

Set to open in fall, school snares more of area's best

April 17, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The lure of Winters Mill continues to gobble up the best and brightest among area coaches.

The school, scheduled to open this fall, announced the majority of its winter and spring coaches yesterday. The all-star list is headed by Westminster track coach Jim Shank and Liberty girls lacrosse coach Courtney Vaughn, both multiple picks as County Coach of the Year in their respective sports.

Other established names include North Carroll's Bernie Koontz (girls basketball), Liberty's Sal Picataggi (boys lacrosse), former nine-year Westminster baseball coach Carl Rihard and former Glenelg wrestling coach Jeff Kent.

Westminster's Dave Herman was named boys basketball coach last week. In February, athletic director Bill Rumbaugh hired two of the area's premier fall coaches in Liberty's Ken Johnson (football) and Westminster's Bryan Shumaker (girls soccer).

"Instantly people are going to say, `Hey, I want my kid to go out for those sports," ' said Rumbaugh. "I think it's the combination of it being the right time, where some people want a change in their careers, and having such a beautiful facility. It's a big drawing card."

Winters Hill will play a JV schedule next season, except in track, wrestling, cross country, tennis and golf; it will switch to a varsity slate in 2003-2004.

Shank, who has been at Westminster since it opened in 1971 and guided his teams to dozens of county championships, was drawn to the better facilities.

"I've been considering it for a while," Shank said. "Every time we have a track meet, coaches complain, and we have to have half of our practices on the track and half out on the grass, where kids aren't going to get injured."

Winters Mill will have a state-of-the-art facility, including a rubberized track with eight 42-inch lanes. Westminster's track has 36-inch lanes, so no more than six 42-inch-wide hurdles can be used side-by-side.

Shank also said the prospect of building a program from scratch was hard to resist.

Vaughn, who started Liberty's girls lacrosse program 15 years ago, had similar reasons.

"I'm ready for another challenge to see what I can do with a program in another part of the county," said Vaughn, whose Liberty teams have gone 172-47 and won 11 Carroll County titles. "I think I'm a much better coach than I was 15, 10, even five years ago, so I think I can bring a lot more knowledge this time around than I did the first time."

Rumbaugh needs only to hire a boys and girls tennis coach.

"There's a very strong commitment to athletics as part of the entire educational process of the kids at our school," Rumbaugh said. "Commitment means supporting the coaches. It also means emphasizing the importance of extracurriculars in the life of the kids ... "

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