BOYNE CITY — Two coaches for the Boyne City Ramblers won’t resume their posts this year.
Mike Wilson, the district’s athletic director, announced the change to the high school’s coaching lineup at Monday’s school board meeting. Both varsity football coach Don Nohel and one-year junior varsity softball coach Heidi Burkhardt recently resigned from those positions, he said.
Both Nohel and Burkhardt stepped down for personal reasons, the latter because of a long commute, Wilson said.
Nohel said Tuesday morning he stepped down because he currently faces some health issues and he wants to focus on his wellness. He is confident a quality coach will be found to replace him and the team will perform well in the fall, Nohel said.
“I think the team will be even better this coming season,” he said.
Replacements for the two coaching positions will immediately be sought.
“Our plan is to get it posted as soon as tomorrow,” Wilson said Monday night.
Nohel will continue to teach industrial arts and physical education at the high school, as well as serve as the wrestling coach for the ongoing season.
He will not coach football in the fall.
“He is a good guy with good character,” Wilson said.
Nohel worked as the varsity football coach for the last three seasons and served as assistant coach under Dave Hills for the five years prior to that.
Boyne City finished 4-5 last season, 5-4 in 2010 and 6-4 in 2009, under Nohel’s leadership.
The Ramblers made the playoffs in 2009, but lost in the first round to Elk Rapids. The school’s football team failed to make the playoffs in 2010, ending a streak of nine consecutive post-season appearances.
Nohel graduated from Merrill High School in 1982 and began his coaching career there while attending classes at Central Michigan University.
He then worked as an assistant coach at Cheboygan High School and took his first head coaching job at Evart High School, where he guided the Wildcats to a 22-23 mark from 1995-1999.
Nohel also served as head coach at Oscoda High School from 2000-2005.
Now district officials will turn to the search for Nohel’s replacement.
“We want somebody who knows the game of football, but more importantly, somebody who can implement a character-driven program,” Wilson said.
Andy Sneddon, News-Review sports editor, contributed information to this article.