When the Hall softball job opened, Mike Filippini saw the talent coming back on the roster and saw a great opportunity.
“There’s a lot of talent still left in the program,” said Filippini, whose hiring was approved at the last Hall School Board meeting. “Hanah Hart is coming back for her senior year. She’s a Division I player going to Illinois State to play softball. Any time you get a chance to start your first year coaching and have somebody as good as Hanah, that’s an opportunity I wanted to take.
“We lost five seniors, but a lot of girls who played last year are back. Most of the team is coming back from the last two years.”
Filippini replaces Brian Holman, who was twice named NewsTribune Softball Coach of the Year during his five seasons leading the Lady Red Devils.
Filippini served as Holman’s assistant coach for the last four years. He also has experience coaching travel softball with the Illinois Valley Aftershock.
“I’ve coached most of (the returning players) either on the freshman/sophomore level, travel teams or being an assistant to (Brian) Holman on the varsity level,” Filippini said. “I have a pretty good idea of who we want to play where and what we’re going to do with those girls. There’s a lot of familiarity.
“I ended up being the freshman/sophomore coach this year in the middle of the year. I helped on both levels. I was mostly Holman’s assistant, but I helped at practice with both teams.”
Filippini will now be the head varsity coach in two sports as he’s been the school’s boys basketball coach for 14 years.
“That’s probably going to be the hardest part when it comes to open gyms and things like that,” Filippini said. “It’ll be hard as time. I’m really hoping the first week of softball is delayed a little bit because that means we’d be in the sectional (for basketball). That won’t be a big problem because I have assistant coaches and the first week or two you’re inside so you don’t do a whole lot other than hit and have pitchers throw.
“I plan to do a lot of stuff in the fall as far as open gyms to try to get the girls to hit a little more and throw a little more than we have in the past.”
Also at the meeting, Rebecca Herrmann was hired as an assistant coach in girls basketball and softball.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.