It is a year of great change for the girls side of Hico’s athletic program.
But that doesn’t mean there are a lot of unfamiliar faces on the coaching staff.
Larry Holder led the Lady Tigers to a pair of basketball playoff runs the last two seasons, but has left to be assistant coach at China Spring where he is closer to family.
Assistant coach Brad Stegall has been promoted to both Holder’s primary roles - head girls basketball coach and girls athletic coordinator.
“Promoting Coach Stegall keeps us from having to go through a lot of transition,” Hico athletic director Keith Wood said. “He’ll continue to run the girls program the way it has been for the last few years. We have a lot of confidence in him.”
Stegall’s wife, Shelli, is a principal for Hico ISD. Their daughter, Cassi, is a multi-sport star for the Lady Tigers.
“They are a great couple and their family is an asset to our school district and this community,” Wood said.
Hico also lost head volleyball coach Alicia Caraway to Coleman. Caraway, a former Tarleton State tennis star, led the Lady Tigers two rounds into the volleyball playoffs last year. Her assistant, Ashley Spradley, has also left, accepting a position at Early. Hico plays both Coleman and Early in its new volleyball district this fall.
Mary Ann Wilbanks (soon to be Winickie after her wedding later this month) has been named the Lady Tigers’ new head volleyball and track and field coach.
“Mary Ann won four state track titles at Boyd and she’s been an assistant coach at Valley Mills, Boyd and Justin Northwest,” Stegall said. “She’s very strong in track. It’s her first head coaching position in volleyball, so we’ll all be learning as we go.”
Stegall also announced the hiring of Danielle Wilhelm as assistant volleyball and girls basketball coach. Wilhelm is familiar to the area after speding the last two seasons as a women’s basketball graduate assistant at Tarleton State. She played major college ball at North Carolina State.
“Coach Wilhelm is going to be a big asset, especially to me in basketball,” Stegall said. “I’m going to make good use of her.”
Stegall is pleased with both hires.
“I couldn’t be happier with either one of them,” he said. “They are both strong coaches, hard workers and great with kids.”