MONROE — The Prairie City-Monroe golf programs will have new leadership in 2018.
PCM Athletic Director Greg Bonnett confirmed recently that Tony Ford has been hired by the school to coach the girls team and Matt Rider is the new boys coach.
Ford takes over for long-time girls coach Val Edwards, who retired. Rider replaces Dale Vander Linden, who resigned after two years as head coach.
“I am passionate about the sport, and my kids are passionate about it,” Ford said. “I wanted this job because it’s a really good individual sport that will challenge you. I decided to put my name in the mix after I got the OK from my wife to sell myself to another sport.”
Ford is currently an assistant for the girls’ basketball program and he served as an assistant coach for boys’ coach Fred Lorensen, too.
“Tony is a guy who I know from playing at the course here,” Bonnett said. “He has a really good demeanor when it comes to coaching. He’s a level headed guy, very intelligent. And for the most part, he’ll know most of the girls which will help make the transition easier.”
With just one player graduating from last year’s team, and with assistant coach Mike Cardin back in the mix, the transition should be smooth.
Rider is a PE teacher at the middle school in Prairie City. Like Ford, Rider golfed in high school.
“I knew I wanted the job as soon as it opened,” Rider said. “I am very excited to get this season going. We have some talent coming back.. It should be fun.”
The boys program welcomes back everyone except graduated senior Ryan Hill. The Mustangs advanced to another district tournament, and now-senior Dayton Boell played in the state tournament last year.
He is a very good golfer. He golfed in college,” Bonnett said. :”I think he’s a great guy for this job.”
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