The opening practice date for the 2019 North Dakota high school volleyball season is Aug. 19 -- less than six weeks away. And Grand Forks Red River is still without a head coach.
Carolyn Olson, the Roughriders' coach from 1994-2018, resigned in late May to take a teaching and coaching position at Fargo Davies High School. Her position is the only head coaching position left to be filled in the Greater Grand Forks high schools for the 2019-20 school year.
"It's taken a little time,'' Grand Forks athletic director Mark Rerick said of filling the Red River volleyball coaching vacancy. "Some of it is timing. (Olson's resignation) occurred after we'd filled the open teacher positions.
"Changing schools (by Olson) late probably caught us a little off guard. But you have to be prepared for any coach leaving at any time. It's something that happens.''
Rerick said nobody in the school system has expressed interest in the coaching position and the pool of applicants has been small.
Whoever is hired takes over for the highly successful Olson, whose Roughrider teams won six state titles and made 21 state tournament appearances in her 24 seasons as head coach.
"You feel bad for the kids,'' Rerick said. "It leaves a bit of a void for them. Carolyn has been good about being around and organizing camps this summer. It isn't a rudderless ship. But you'd like to have a head coach for the kids to go to. We're moving on it as quickly as we can.''
In other changes at head coaching positions in Grand Forks:
Red River boys hockey: Ryan LaDouceur has been hired to replace Bill Chase.
Grand Forks Central boys soccer: Former Red River assistant coach Luke Schulz has been hired to replace George DuBois. DuBois resigned from the position, but will continue to coach the Knights' girls soccer team.
Grand Forks Central fastpitch softball: Kyle Ellingson was elevated from assistant to head coach after Maggie Archer resigned as head of the program at the end of the season this spring.
Status quo at EGF
East Grand Forks Senior High athletic director Scott Koberinski said he's received no information of any head coach leaving.
"We're in pretty good shape for coaches,'' Koberinski said. "It is a little unusual, not having any turnover.''
Koberinski said he's assuming at this point that all of the 2018-19 fall and winter head coaches are returning. He said it's too early to know if any spring changes may be made.
Karas Eagles' new coach
Sacred Heart athletic director Blake Karas didn't have to go far to find a replacement for Joann Remer, who resigned as the Eagles' head girls basketball coach after the season. Karas has been hired for the position, although he had nothing to do with the selection.
Karas had been an assistant boys basketball coach with the Eagles. When the girls basketball head job opened, Karas put in his application and turned over the selection process to a search committee.
"I didn't want to name myself,'' Karas said. "I felt that would be a conflict of interest. So I turned (the selection process) over to a third party, the committee.''
Karas has four seasons of experience as a boys head basketball coach while at Plainview-Elgin-Millville. "There's something fun about being the head coach,'' Karas said. "I missed it and I wanted to coach again. I'm passionate about basketball.''
The girls basketball position is the only Sacred Heart sport that had a head coach opening for the 2019-20 season.