For the third time in four years, the Bishop Ryan volleyball team has a new coach.
Kaycee Grochow - a Lions assistant for three years - was given the reins to a volleyball team that advanced to the Region 6 quarterfinal round last season.
Grochow said she was surprised by the hiring because she felt former coach Patty Luetzen would return for a third season, but is ready for the opportunity.
"I've been around (the team) and they know me and how I operate," Grochow said.
Luetzen took a teaching job in Flathead County, Mont., and plans on getting her master's degree in literacy. Luetzen said leaving was a difficult decision, but also the right one.
"They are the most amazing group of kids," she said. "That was really hard, but you have so many dimensions to yourself as a person and I always wanted to live in a vacation place."
Grochow grew up in a coaching family. Her father, Scott, coaches track and field and football at Rugby High School. Grochow has coached in some capacity for six years with Bishop Ryan and Minot State University after graduating from Rugby in 2007. She has a simple coaching philosophy.
"For me, I'll teach you anything you want to know, but you have to take it and use it," Grochow said. "But I'm not going to make you do anything."
Bryan Kramer, who was named the Bishop Ryan athletic director Tuesday, said a 15-minute discussion with superintendent Terry Voiles was all it took before he was on the phone with Grochow to offer her the position. She was on her way to a volleyball clinic in Fargo when she received the call.
"She's going to have a really good year," Kramer said. "She has a good crop of athletes coming back that had some success last year and was a year away from getting over the hump."
Luetzen shared Kramer's optimism.
"Kaycee has had a much longer relationship with the kids," she said. "She knows the kids, she knows the area. What a wonderful thing to walk into. She wants to be a coach. The door has opened for her and she's ambitious and motivated."
The Lions open practice Aug. 19 and host Washburn on Sept. 3 in their first match of the season. Grochow believes her new team can continue its improvement.
"If they put the time into it, we can be pretty decent, and I think they will," she said. "These girls like to work hard."
Mike Kraft covers hockey and Class B athletics.
Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.