MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Four assistant coaches are among the new faces beginning their first fall at Huntingdon College.
Cross Country assistant Howard Johnson and soccer assistants Robert Milner and David Esser are busy preparing for the upcoming fall season while Jordan Drumheller is preparing for the first season of men's lacrosse in the spring.
The four are making positive impacts and have made good impressions with their head coaches.
"David Esser is a young guy that brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our program," men's soccer head coach Kevin Ray said. "He is knowledgeable and willing to learn, which makes a great partnership. He is going to be a great asset for the soccer program and the school."
Esser, a four-year player and graduate of Montevallo, replaces Matt Thorne, who left to become the head men's coach at the University of West Alabama.
Like Ray, women's soccer coach Wes Anania said Milner has already become a valuable part of the women's soccer program.
"Having him on staff has been good and it has helped make our training more efficient," Anania said. "We've been able to train a little differently than in the past when it was just me. The girls are getting more attention than with just one coach and it gives us the opportunity to coach them up a little better."
Milner, a former player at Martin Methodist and AUM, served as a student assistant at AUM in 2009 and also coached the St. James boys soccer team.
Johnson, who will also be an assistant coach for the first-year women's track and field program in the spring, actually joined the coaching staff this past school year. This will be his first season working with the Huntingdon cross country program.
"I feel good about this group," Johnson said. "I believe these kids will continue the legacy that head coach (Nate) Rucker is creating here. As long as we stay focused, I think we will do well."
Johnson previously coached at New Mexico Highlands University in 2009 and 2010. During that time, four of his athletes earned all-conference and three qualified for nationals.
Before becoming a coach, Johnson was a six-time All-Conference selection in four seasons at Adams State.
Drumheller will team with head coach Andrew Carey to help guide Huntingdon's first men's lacrosse team in the spring.
"When coach Carey approached me about being an assistant, I was excited about the opportunity," said Drumheller, who served as an assistant at Sewanee last season. "It's an opportunity to teach the game in an area where lacrosse is not very well known. I want to take what I've learned as a coach and during my 18 years of playing the game and teach it to these players the best I can."
A four-year letterman at Greensboro College, Drumheller played in 55 games, scored 50 goals and had 44 assists. In high school, Drumheller played on two state championship teams for Severna Park High in Millersville, Md.