After 13 seasons with the Milton volleyball program, including 10 seasons as the varsity head coach, Wayne Hansen is stepping down from the helm.
“It was a great ride, it wasn’t like a rollercoaster at all,” Hansen said. “I started from the bottom, worked my way to the top and then I plateaued and I stayed right across the top until I decided it was time for me to step down.”
Hansen started as the JV coach and a varsity assistant his first three years and eventually worked his way up to the head varsity coach where he stayed for 10 years.
Hansen only had one losing season in his decade with the varsity program. His overall coaching record in Milton ends at 264-124, which included five regional titles.
“I feel like I’m leaving on my own accord,” Hansen said. “I’ve always told myself and have talked with my wife over the years that I don’t want to overextend my stay.
“I still feel like we’re a good program, it’s heading in the right direction.”
Hansen has helped his fair share of former players move on to play collegiately. Chloe Buescher, Rachel Butterfield, Courtney Knutson, Skyler Salter, Emily Zastoupil and Paige Harbort are some recently graduated Red Hawks playing volleyball at the college level.
“He really took the time to focus on us,” said Buescher, who was named WIAC Newcomer of the Year and first-team all conference. “He worked hard with a lot of girls to make them better. He took a lot of time out of his schedule to help us practice.”
“He was always very excited,” said Butterfield, a two-time WIAC honorable mention. “Personally for me I felt like he was able to pump me up a lot and hype me.”
Coaching was a stress release for Hansen, and he hopes the same was true for the girls he coached over the years.
“The first thing I preach to the girls is whatever happens in the hallways during school, whatever happens after school, whatever happens at home stays there,” Hansen said. “You come to the gym, you be yourself, you let all your stuff out.”
Hansen said the best part about his time at Milton was the relationships he was able to form with his players.
“To develop a young athlete to what they can be, that’s what I’m going to miss the most,” Hansen said.