When summer arrives, Matt Hoeppner will become a Golden Hawk.
Even if only for softball.
Hoeppner, who coached the West Liberty girls basketball team to three wins over Mid-Prairie last year and eliminated the Golden Hawks in the Class 3A regional tournament, was selected by Mid-Prairie to be its new softball head coach.
He replaces Mallory McArtor, who led Mid-Prairie to a regional tournament win over Tipton last July. The Golden Hawks finished with a 2-12 record in a season shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am grateful for Mid-Prairie giving me the opportunity to run the program,” said Hoeppner, an Ashford University graduate who has coached basketball and football for 11 years, beginning in the Davenport and Rock Island, Ill., areas. “I am excited to work with players at every level within the community to build this program once again.”
Hoeppner will get a close look at some of Mid-Prairie’s softball athletes on Dec. 1. That’s the night of the first girls basketball meeting between Mid-Prairie and West Liberty.
In his first year at West Liberty one year ago, Hoeppner led the Comets to their first winning season since 1991. West Liberty won 19 games and was ranked No. 14 in Class 3A. A similar bounce-back season would be hugely welcomed at Mid-Prairie.
“We are excited to have coach Hoeppner on staff,” said Mid-Prairie Activities Director Tyler Hotz. “He will bring maturity and organization to the program.”
The Golden Hawks will be attempting to return to a stretch of success they had less than 10 years ago when Mid-Prairie had three consecutive 30-win seasons.