BRIDGER — Lena Kallevig is set to take over for a legend.
Kallevig was named the head volleyball coach at Bridger Tuesday, assuming the role after Hall of Fame coach Wayne Moorman announced his retirement at the 2018 Class C state volleyball tournament. Kallevig played for and coached under Moorman, who guided the Scouts to 10 state championships during his career of 30-plus years.
Moorman took over the Bridger program in 1985 and was joined on the bench by Robin Smith in the late 1980s. The two have led the Scouts since, but both stepped down last November and recommended Kallevig for the job.
“I always used to say that whoever decided to take over for Mr. Moorman would have to either be from out of town or kind of stupid,” Kallevig joked in an email to MTN Sports. “I knew he was waiting to retire until he found a replacement he trusted with the program. I feel honored he thinks so highly of me.”
As a player, Kallevig was part of championship-winning teams in 1996, 1997 and 1998 before graduating from Bridger in 1998. She returned to Bridger and served as an assistant coach in 2004, but Kallevig left to take over the Joliet program, where she was the head coach for three seasons.
Kallevig and her family moved back to Bridger in 2013, when she started her second stint as an assistant coach under Moorman.
“As his former player, his announcement to retire was sad even though I knew it was coming,” Kallevig said. “Mr. Smith and Mr. Moorman have really put their arms around me the past six seasons and helped me become a better coach.”
In the Scouts, Kallevig is inheriting a program on solid footing. Bridger has won the Southern C divisional tournament each of the past two years to advance to the state tournament. The Scouts finished fourth at state in 2017 and second last year.
“I don’t think the transition will be too shocking, but the absence will be felt by us all,” Kallevig said. “I can remember as a player always wanting to make (Moorman) proud of me. I hope I can now more than ever. I have wonderful girls and I’m excited. They love this game and deserve my best, so that’s what I plan to give them.”
The Bridger school board made Kallevig’s hiring official at its Tuesday meeting. Amy Goltz will serve as the assistant coach.