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Collinsville High School names new head softball coach

By   /  October 13, 2014  /  4 Comments

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The Collinsville Unit 10 School Board on Wednesday approved Dan Toberman as the new  head softball coach for Collinsville High School.

Dan Toberman, Collinsville High School head softball coach / Photo by Roger Starkey

Dan Toberman, Collinsville High School head softball coach / Photo by Roger Starkey

Toberman will replace Cyndi Kolda, the winningest coach in Kahok Softball history, whose contract was not renewed for the 2015 season. Toberman will inherit a team coming of consecutive 17-19 seasons.

Toberman is an English teacher at CHS who coached football for six years and spent last season as a coach for the freshman baseball team. Although this will be his first time coaching softball, Toberman, who described himself as a leader, mentor and coach, believes the Kahoks will succeed under his leadership.

“I’m 100 percent confident in my ability to do this,” Toberman said. “It’s always been a passion, I know the game. There are  going to be things that I’m going to learn, and I know I might make a mistake or two, but my goal is to not make the same mistake twice.”

One stop for Toberman, as he does “everything he can” to learn about coaching softball, will be some of the local colleges to pick the brains of their coaches. He will go to practices, learn what works for the college coaches, and bring those things back to the Kahoks, Toberman said. Videos, clinics and research are also on the first-year coach’s agenda.

Athletic Director Darin Lee said two other candidates were interviewed for the position, including one who is not on staff in Unit 10. Toberman was chosen for his professionalism and his record as a good coach for football and baseball, Lee said.

Expectations were high for the Kahok softball team that entered 2014 with its entire starting lineup returning. The 2015 edition returns the same starters, except Jessica Ledford, who left the team during the 2014 season.

“I understand that we have a great core coming back,” Toberman said. “I’m really excited about the possibilities there.”

With his baseball coaching duties, Toberman was only able to see the team play a couple of times last season, he said.

Toberman said his goal is to get everyone doing the right things in every aspect of their lives: in the classroom, at home, in the weight room, working out and on the field.

“What I’m going to stress is, respect the game, respect your teammates,” Toberman said. “And I believe, if you’re doing all of those right things, the team goals, as far as wins and losses, are going to come.”

A Belleville East and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville graduate, Toberman worked as an editor and reporter for local newspapers before getting his teaching certificate in 2008 as part of a master’s program at McKendree University. He was hired that same year as an English teacher at Collinsville High School.

BethAnn Swarz and Stacy Hartle, assistants from last year’s team, will return for the 2015 season, Toberman said. More coaches will be named in the coming months.

In eight seasons as the head softball coach, Kolda compiled a 145-130 record, including two regional championships. The Kahoks started the 2014 season 9-3, before losing eight of their next nine games. The team finished 4-10 in Southwestern Conference play, losing to Belleville East in the first round of the Regionals.

Amid formal complaints, Kolda was not asked to return. Calling the situation a personnel matter, Lee said he could not confirm if the complaints played a role in the decision to not renew Kolda’s contract.

“It was a collective decision made by the administration and taken to the school board,” Lee said.

Practice for the 2015 season begins in late February. The first game will be March 19 against Mascoutah at Kahok Softball Field in the Jaycee Sports Complex.

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  1. Terry and Mary Wilson says:

    Awesome choice – congrats, Toby!

    • Pete Hoffman says:

      Good Luck Coach!

      • Jenifer Hoffman says:

        Good luck, Coach Toberman! Please bring back the integrity of this program, and make all of us alumni proud! Please take care of the field that we all worked so hard to build. We took so much pride in that field, and it has been treated with so much disrespect by the former coaching staff. Remember us when you or your team doesn’t feel like cleaning the press box, or pulling weeds from the warning track. We built that field for the future softball players, and we have all been terribly let down to see the lack of effort in caring for the facilities. Please maintain a good relationship with the Collinsville Extreme Program so the girls of Collinsville have a solid softball foundation year round. Please do not alter stats or records to make yourself look better. Please don’t let politics, parents, personal relationships, or your personal life interfere in the way you coach these young minds. You have a great softball city relying on you to make this team something to be proud of. Go get em, coach!

        Jenifer Hoffman
        Class of 2003

  2. Big Mistake says:

    Why is Kahok softball no longer taken seriously? Why would a man that has never coached softball in his life be selected for this position? Why aren’t the complaints regarding Kola being published? Why is Mr. Lee afraid for this program to succeed?

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