Rocky Fork Enterprise

Athletics

Gahanna hires three fall coaches

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Gahanna Lincoln High School recently filled three vacancies for fall coaches.

Natasha Ballard was introduced as girls soccer coach March 20, according to athletics director Justin Sanford.

Earlier this winter, the Lions hired Danny Irving as girls volleyball coach and Ryan Beck as boys cross country coach.

Ballard, a 2006 Reynoldsburg graduate who played soccer for Capital University, previously assisted the girls programs at Bexley, Wellington and Pickerington North.

She takes over for Jason Hardin, who stepped down at the end of his fifth season last fall. Under Hardin, the Lions won their first outright league championship and first Division I district championship in 2011 before going 6-9-1 with an injury-plagued roster last fall.

“She has a lot of energy and is very passionate,” Sanford said. “It was just a great fit.”

Irving, according to Sanford, attended Gahanna as a freshman before his family moved to Stow in northeastern Ohio. He coached Brecksville-Broadview Heights to a Division I state semifinal in 2010 but resigned after the season.

He recently moved back to central Ohio because of a job transfer.
Irving takes over for Scot Holmes, who guided the Lions to district runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2011 before stepping down at the end of last season, when Gahanna went 17-7.

“(Irving) comes with a lot of coaching experience and knowledge,” Sanford said. “It was a great opportunity for us that he was available.”

Beck replaces Larry Schwade, who retired from coaching last fall after 25 seasons leading the boys cross country program. The Lions advanced to 29 regional meets during his 35 total seasons with the program, including last season when they were 12th at regional.

Beck previously assisted the girls cross country and girls track and field programs.

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