Kirschner moves on, Todd moves in

Posted 5/5/20

Matt Kirschner, North Zulch Athletic Director and head men’s basketball coach from 2018-20, will leave the district and accept the head men’s job at Leon High School. Kirschner’s position will be filled by Clay Todd, former coach at Normangee.

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Kirschner moves on, Todd moves in

Posted

Matt Kirschner, North Zulch Athletic Director and head men’s basketball coach from 2018-20, will leave the district and accept the head men’s job at Leon High School. Kirschner’s position will be filled by Clay Todd, former coach at Normangee.

“Being Athletic Director, you build relationships with all the athletes, boys and girls,” said Kirschner. “I want to thank North Zulch and (Superintendent Alan Andrus) for giving me the opportunity to come here.”

The Bulldogs found themselves fifth in district this season and sixth in 2018-19. Kirschner, meanwhile, will take the reins at 2A Leon during the 2020-21 campaign.

“After the season, I started looking at what I wanted to do with the future,” said Kirschner. “To me, it was the right move. I have looked at (Leon) just from being up there the last couple years and seeing their facilities and being around their coaches and kids. We scrimmaged them in both my years here and played them twice (during the regular season). It looked like a great place to go and try to build a program.”

According to maxpreps.com, Leon finished second-to-last in 2A District 20 (Region III) in 2020 with one win in league play.

Clay Todd will take over the Athletic Director position at NZHS as well as the men’s basketball program.

Todd began his coaching career as an assistant with Onalaska and Central (Pollak) High School before accepting his first head coaching job at West Hardin in 2015, where Andrus was also the Superintendent at the time.

Todd led West Hardin to the playoffs in two seasons, including a fourth place and third place finish in district along with a playoff loss at the buzzer. He comes to North Zulch after coaching Normangee for three years.

“We had a steady improvement (at Normangee) as well,” said Todd. “Our last year, we made it all the way to the Regional Finals and that was definitely a special thing to be a part of. That is what I am hoping to do here at North Zulch, be progressive and keep building to try and find success.”

The Bulldogs, who moved down to 1A, will compete in one of the division’s toughest districts in 2020 as they make the transition under Todd.

“I think we are really just going to be focusing on the process,” said Todd. “That is what I pride myself on. I think there is a time and place to really focus in on big goals down the road, but I am big on focusing on the process and I think you do need to get the kids excited. That is going to be what I focus on here.”

While many aspects of the immediate future remain unclear due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Todd has discussed his plans to help build up the basketball program and has aspirations to be in it for the long haul.

“You definitely want to build the program up starting young, but you need to do that with the older athletes, too,” said Todd. “You need to show those players what you want it to look like so the youngest players can see that. That is what I plan to do here. I have no intentions of leaving any time soon. I want to make sure this is done right.”

In a broader sense, Todd also touched on some of the things he would like to focus on as the district’s new athletic director, once the facilities are back open and the athletes can participate in summer training.

“I think we really want to talk about our strength and conditioning program and ensure the kids are consistently improving on that,” said Todd. “That is going to help us in every single sport. We want to make sure we have increased numbers and we want to see kids playing. I think that kind of foes back to getting them excited and having something to compete for. We as coaches kind of have to put that on ourselves and get them feeling that way.”

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