Stillwater News Press

High School Sports

July 16, 2014

Hoffman to coach three Yale sports

STILLWATER, Okla. — Kaleb Hoffman is back in the area he calls home and about to begin a busy professional career, which involves coaching three sports at Yale High School.

The Ripley High School graduate will be working 20 miles from his hometown as he was hired as a math teacher at YHS. Along with his teaching duties, Hoffman will be the head coach of the YHS volleyball, girls basketball and baseball.

“I’m extremely excited to be back in the area,” Hoffman said. “I love it here in the Stillwater area. I’m a diehard Oklahoma State fan. I try not to miss a football game, basketball or baseball game. My fiance got a teaching job at Richmond Elementary in Stillwater. It’s a good move for both of us to come back here.

“It’s going to be a very busy slate,” he added. “My dad is a high school coach, so I’ve always known his hectic schedule. Thankfully my fiance is letting me stay with that schedule as well. I think it’s going to be a good experience.”

Hoffman recently graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. In less than a month, he will be starting his first teaching and coaching job at a school he’s quite familiar with from his time in Ripley.

“Coach (Rocky) Kennedy is a great guy and all of my past experiences with people at Yale - they’ve all been classy and they do a good job of running their programs at Yale,” Hoffman said. “I grew up 20 miles from there, so I’ve always been knowledgeable about their programs. Coach Kennedy does a great guy and I’m extremely excited to have him as an adminstrator and athletic director.”

Yale Athletic Director Rocky Kennedy was happy to hire a local guy to coach the Bulldogs.

“He’s definitely going to have a full-time job,” Kennedy said. “Kaleb is right out of college and he graduated from Ripley High School, so he’s pretty close to home. He played collegiate baseball and he played basketball in high school, too. He’s going to do us a good job.”

Hoffman played basketball and baseball during his time at Ripley. He went to the state tournament in both sports as a member of the Warriors. After high school, he went to Allen County Community College in Iola, Kan., where he played baseball for one year. Then he transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma and played baseball for two years.

Following his junior year, Hoffman traded in his glove for a clipboard and became a volunteer assistant coach under his father, Donnie Hoffman, who is the Ripley baseball head coach. The 2014 Bulldogs advanced to the state tournament with the Hoffmans coaching staff.

Now the younger Hoffman will be taking over three Warriors program. While basketball and baseball are sports he’s quite familiar with, volleyball will be a new beast for the young coach.

“Volleyball will definitely be a new experience,” Hoffman said. “I’ve worked with the players and we’ve had multiple practices. I’ve got a great group of girls. From everything I’ve seen so far, I’m extremely excited to work with them. Every single girl and guy I’ve met over there who’s going to be one of my prospective student-athletes has been extremely respectful and committed to working hard and win.”

Helping Hoffman learn about volleyball has been Lindsey Rickner, who is a Yale graduate. She helped the Bulldogs during the coaching transition. Since his hiring, she’s continued to help him learn the sport and he’s been grateful to her assistance.

“I feel like I’ve picked it up fairly quickly, thankfully being around her,” Hoffman said. “She was very knowledgeable and  helped me increase my knowledge.”

The volleyball season officially begins on Aug. 11 when teams are allowed to start competing. For now, the Bulldogs have taken a break before coming back in early August to begin practicing for the upcoming fall season.

“We’ve already been going at it,” Hoffman said. “I gave the girls a couple of weeks off to try and enjoy their summer a little bit. We will start the first of August and see what we can do. I think the new classification will give us an even better chance to be successful.”

The OSSAA has added a new Class – 3A – for the 2014 season. Previously, the three volleyball classes were 4A-6A, but a 3A class was added, giving small schools like Yale a better chance to advance in the postseason.

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