Santjer to lead Rugby boys program
Mike Santjer is moving over one chair on the Rugby boys basketball bench next season.
Santjer, who has spent the past two years as assistant varsity and JV coach, was been hired to the varsity post, replacing Mike Heidlebaugh, who stepped down after two seasons. The Rugby School Board formally approved the coaching change at its July 21 meeting.
“I’m pretty excited about it (the opportunity),’ said Santjer. “It’s definitely going to be a learning experience.”
Santjer’s familiarity with the program and the players should make for a smooth transition. He becomes the program’s fourth head coach in the past five years.
Heidlebaugh, meanwhile, says he will continue to coach somewhere in the program, whether that’s assisting with JV or C-squad teams. He posted a 26-19 record over the past two years, leading the team to the Region 6 Tournament in his first year.
Heidlebaugh said when he took the head position two years ago the the plan was to coach for two seasons and then evaluate whether he would continue at the varsity level. Santjer, who also began two years ago, expressed interest in the head job but wanted the opportunity to become more familiar with the program.
“I felt that I just couldn’t devote the time necessary to head the program,’ Heidlebaugh said.
Family and farming had to come first. He added the program is in good hands with Santjer.