The Lindley coaching tree has sprouted new branches in Sparta.
Tracy Lindley-Schendel has been named head coach of the Sparta High School girls basketball team, and her sister, Kala Lindley-Duerwachter will be one of her assistants.
They are the daughters of long-time high school coach Spike Lindley, who takes over as Sparta’s girls softball coach next spring.
All three have been coaching most of their adult lives.
“It’s in the family; it’s in the blood,” Lindley-Schendel said.
Lindley-Schendel takes over a team that was 3-9 last season in the Mississippi Valley Conference and 8-15 overall. The program has struggled since the 2010-11 season, when the Spartans advanced to a WIAA Division 2 Sectional final. Lindley-Duerwachter, now a physical education teacher in the Sparta Area School District, was a member of that team.
Lindley-Schendel believes the Spartans can reach those heights again.
“There’s a new level of excitement for the girls program,” she said. “We have a strong club program behind us.”
She hopes her team can take the first step in 2019-20 and advance toward the middle of the MVC standings.
“I can see us in the top three or four in the conference,” she said.
Lindley-Schendel works as an assistant in the Sparta district’s athletics/activities department. A 1996 graduate of Tomah High School, her coaching resume include stints as varsity reserve girls basketball coach in Bangor and Tomah. She also has experience as an assistant softball coach at Sparta and Viterbo University in La Crosse.
When asked how much impact her father had on her coaching career, Lindley-Schendel said, “Huge.”
“I grew up watching dad coach just about every sport there was,” she said. “He made me into the coach I am today.”
The Sparta girls basketball opener is Nov. 19 at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau. The home opener is Nov. 21 against Baraboo.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at email@example.com.