Duchesne High School athletic director Debi Turner recently announced the school has hired new coaches for the school’s girls basketball and softball program for the upcoming 26-17 school year.
Jeff Gaines is taking over the softball program and Brandon Stringer will be taking charge of the girls basketball team. The two coaches take over from Ron Twitchell, who has moved on from the school.
Gaines, a retired Illinois state trooper, is coming to Duchesne after spending the last two seasons coaching as an assistant at Alton Marquette as well as coaching select and club teams in previous years.
He inherits a team that went 4-15 last season and will be very young after losing seven seniors to graduation.
“This is my first head coaching opportunity on the high school level and I’m really excited to get a chance to work with these athletes and have a chance to develop this program,” Gaines said.
“Coach Gaines brings a lot of passion to teach and coach to the position,” Turner said. “There will be a lot of young players coming in this fall with the graduations we had and I think his experience coaching at Alton Marquette as an assistant make him a good fit for the job.”
Stringer, also is coming in as a first-time head coach after spending the last 13 seasons coaching at Republic High School, Meridian High School in Illinois, Evangel University, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis .
The past three seasons, Stringer has coached as an assistant on the UMSL Tritons mens team.
“I was able to learn from some great coaches on the (UMSL) staff and just thought it was a great time to be able to translate all that great knowledge into my own program and to keep the Duchesne program performing at the same high level it’s been performing at the last two years,” Stringer said.
Although the program graduated a number of players from last year’s 24-5 team that made a Class 3 sectional appearance, Stringer is looking forward to the challenge of keeping the Pioneers among the areas elite teams.
“I’m trying to do my part to get these players to the position where they can be the most successful,” Stringer said.
Turner said that the school was fortunate to get both coaches at the same time, and believes that the programs are in good hands with the new coaches.
“Coach Gaines brings tremendous experience and knowledge, and his approach to the game will really help our players,” Turner said.
“Brandon has an unbelievable amount of knowledge about the game and he is always working on something to help his players get better.”