While Kyle Hamrick always stayed close to the game of soccer, he was ready to get back to coaching.

Hamrick is getting his chance, as he was announced as Olentangy High School’s new boys coach Jan. 5.

“I’m very passionate about coaching and very passionate about soccer,” Hamrick said. “I’ve been ready (to return to coaching) for a while. I know what the Olentangy program is like. It’s a well-renowned district.”

Hamrick replaces Pat Shick, who stepped down shortly after guiding the Braves to a Division I district runner-up finish last fall. Shick was 31-32-10 in four seasons and led Olentangy to at least a district semifinal three times.

Hamrick, a 2002 graduate of Cincinnati Northwest, serves as manager of the boys and girls district tournaments, a job he plans to continue. He coached at Wellington in 2010, going 5-8-5, before serving as athletics director at Harvest Prep from 2011-15 and coaching the Warriors’ boys team in 2013.

Hamrick currently teaches health and physical education at Morral Ridgedale and was an assistant coach for Delaware’s boys team the past two seasons.

Olentangy went 11-4-5 overall and 1-1-3 in the OCC-Buckeye Division last season, losing to Dublin Jerome 1-0 in a district final.

“We have 31 returning players in the program for this fall and 12 seniors coming back,” Hamrick said. “I’m excited to meet the boys. I’m ready for everything to get going.”