Jun 23, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorJohn Rounds has been hired to replace Doug Hughes as the head football coach for the Lander Valley High School Tigers.
Hughes has stepped into the LVHS activities director role.
Rounds has been an assistant coach to the Tigers for the last six years.
"We are very excited," Rounds said. "The opportunity presented itself. It's something that we have had as a goal for our family, and me professionally, moving up to the head coaching ranks. I'm excited to see if we can take the next step."
Rounds took the Tigers to a Black Hills State University football camp last week.
"Things will go very smooth," Hughes said. "The team had a lot of success at the camp."
Veteran assistant coach Mike Ragan was selected to be the new boys basketball coach at Lander.
Ragan replaces Terry Hopkin. Ragan previously had been an assistant girls coach.
"I think that they are exceptional coaches," Hughes said. "They will work very well in our system."
Ragan was the defensive coordinator last fall for the Tigers.
"Coach Ragan brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience," Hughes said. "Not only from Lander, but also working in the 4-A level in both basketball and football at Casper."
Hughes knows firsthand what kind of coach Ragan is.
"We are very fortunate to have the caliber of a coach and man as coach Ragan," Hughes said.
The summer will be a busy one for Hughes.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to work with all the sports," Hughes said. "We are hiring a number of new coaches and assistant coaches."
Hughes also is searching for a new boys soccer coach and girls coach and wrestling coach.
"We wanted them filled as soon as possible," Hughes said.
The new football coach came to Lander after attending Black Hills State University.
He coached at BHSU between 2005 and 2007.
"Coach Hughes did a great job," Rounds said. "I learned a lot from an organizational standpoint on how to develop relationships with the student athletes."
In 2013, Lander qualified for the 3-A playoffs, but fell in an opening round game.
"There are some x's and o's that he had an expertise in that I was able to learn a lot from that," Rounds said. "Hopefully that has built me up as a better coach, and I feel like I'm ready for this opportunity."
Rounds is also a middle school assistant wrestling coach and track and field coach.
"One of the advantages of being in the system, the kids know me," Rounds said. "We have an idea of each other's strengths and weaknesses."
Rounds wants to focus the Tigers in developing muscle in the weight room.
"One of the things is building up team strength," Rounds said. "To be competitive in the regular season, we face some bigger teams like Cody, and the other schools who pound it at you. "
Lander will have a mini camp at the end of July.
"We can start to work to put into some new stuff with the kids that weren't able to go camp," Rounds said.
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