Hematites hire new boys hoops coach

ISHPEMING – The transition from old coach to new coach can be difficult at times, but for the Ishpeming Hematites, it will be an easy transition.

After Ishpeming head boys varsity basketball coach and current football coach Jeff Olson resigned after the end of the last season, the Hematites turned to assistant coach Anthony Katona to take over the reins.

Katona served as a varsity assistant coach under Olson for the past two seasons and is looking forward to his new role with the Hematites hoops program.

“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “There’s a good group of guys on the varsity team. We’re pretty young now, but we’re returning some senior leaders to the team. There’s a great group of kids there right now and that’s always nice as a coach to have a good solid group of kids with good heads on their shoulders.”

Hematites athletic director Terry Roberts said that Katona was officially approved as head coach at the Ishpeming school board meeting Monday night. Roberts said that all of the people that were interviewed were “quality candidates,” but ultimately Katona got the job.

“He’s very knowledgeable and he’ll be a good fit for the program. We interviewed some candidates and he was the one that we decided on. The kids know him from his last couple of years being in the program and that always helps. They’re used to him and he’ll be a good fit.

Katona was an All-Conference, All-U.P. and All-State player at Negaunee and later played at Michigan Tech for five seasons (2008-13) as a shooting guard. He says that he enjoys teaching basketball to kids and said coaching under Olson has helped him prepare for his new role.

“I always thought I had a decent amount of knowledge growing up around the game of basketball and I enjoy teaching it to kids,” he said. “The last two years with Jeff have really helped run by coaching philosophy and helped me get into the role of head coach for a team like Ishpeming. I’m looking forward to it.”

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.


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