20 years and counting

Grace Ries, Assistant Sports Editor

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Throughout all 20 years of Xavier, Coach Tom Lilly and Coach Duane Schulte have been through it all.

Schulte has been a football coach for 25 years, starting at LaSalle High School before transitioning to Xavier. Schulte said it is easier to understand the transition of two high schools for the people who went through it.

Many people wondered, as far back as the early 1960s, what it would be like if LaSalle and Regis were one school.

“Maybe what has been done the past 21 years would provide some insight to answer to that question,” Schulte said. “To merge two schools, which had outstanding championship histories, into one was remarkable.”

One of Schulte’s assistants includes Coach Lilly, along with Jim O’Connell, Stu Ballinger, Tom Ekland and Brad Stovie. For the entire existence of Xavier, Dave Gearhart has done stats and Jason Klein has done film. Schulte referred to these men as “pretty remarkable”.

Lilly has coached the girls’ basketball team for 34 years. He started his journey at Regis High School as the girls’ sophomore coach during the six on six era. When it became five on five, he was still a sophomore coach as well as a varsity assistant coach. The following year, he took over as head coach.

“It has been exciting and rewarding, not without some bumps in the road,” Lilly said. “I have had great support from my family, administration and some hardworking, solid players.”

Throughout the years, Lilly has seen a lot of really good players come through the program.

“I guess if you go to the record books, Hannah Stolba (X00) still owns performance rating and double, doubles (double digits for two sets of stats). Then, Kristin Jennings (X03) was an MVC player of the year,” Lilly said. “Maybe junior Caitlynn Daniels will add her name to the list.”

Lilly has had 11 assistant coaches. Stephanie Potts has been with him the longest and continues to assist the program.

Along with Lilly’s bumps in the road, Schulte has seen “a lot of peaks and valleys but the one constant, has been tough, hard nosed, gritty players who do their job and get what they earn, and awesome, loyal assistant coaches who know their stuff.”


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