When Ryan Niemeier heard the La Crescent-Hokah High School’s girls basketball program was searching for a new head coach, he knew it was time to take a chance.

The La Crescent native has a wealth of experience coaching basketball. He began coaching youth basketball 16 years ago before spending seven seasons at Logan High School as an assistant coach. After taking a year off from coaching, he moved to La Crescent three years ago before becoming the junior varsity head coach for the La Crescent boys basketball program.

Activities Director Jeff Copp said he was very excited when he received Niemeier’s application.

“He was absolutely the most qualified candidate for the job. You add that to the fact that he is a community member and already has the connection to La Crescent sports through his work last season and it was pretty obvious we had found our guy,” Copp said.

That connection to La Crescent was a big part in the decision to name Niemeier the new head coach.

“He is familiar with La Crescent sports and how we want to run things around here,” Copp said. “We want strong results for the team this season and I know he’s already been working hard on that part of it.”

And he has. The new head coach has already secured new uniforms for the team in addition to hosting various workouts and summer practices during the allowed time frame this summer.

Niemeier was ready for a new challenge.

“I thought it would be a good fit for me,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time as an assistant coach over the years and I think I’m ready for that next step.”

Boys varsity head coach Ryan Thibodeau said he’s confident his former assistant will do good things for the program.

“He’s going to do just fine. I know its been one of his goals to eventually become a head coach and he has such an incredible vision for running his own program and I know he’s going to do a great job,” Thibodeau said.

Copp and Thibodeau both said that the new head coach brings plenty of passion to his new position.

“He has such an energy that came across loud and clear,” Copp said.

His mentor said that energy was part of the reason he asked him to help him last season.

“The first thing that was pretty obvious once he came aboard last season was his passion for the game itself. He is a very vocal and energetic guy and our players fed off of that passion. That combined with his ability as a strong communicator is going to take him a long way in his new role,” Thibodeau said.

Niemeier has been ready for the opportunity and he already knows how he wants his teams to play.

“We’re going to be an uptempo team and be strong on defense,” he said. “We want to win state eventually but we’re going to start small—focus on winning at home and defending our home court and then moving on to winning conference and continuing to build on success.”

He also sees a bright future.

“With the players returning this upcoming season, I see bright things ahead for La Crescent basketball. I’m very excited for the opportunity to help bring back a winning attitude to sports in La Crescent,” Niemeier said.