Pharmacy school’s loss is Billings Central’s gain.
Deciding to take her career in a different direction, Kylie Kufeld was hired as the new head coach for the Billings Central High School volleyball program.
Central principal Shel Hanser made the announcement on Friday.
The 23-year-old Kufeld, a 2009 Billings Senior graduate and 2013 graduate of Dartmouth College, replaces Liz Hanser, who resigned after eight seasons.
“I’m so excited for this opportunity,” Kufeld said. “Even though I’m young, I feel I have a lot to offer.”
Kufeld was the junior varsity coach for the Rams last season. She is currently the U14 coach for the Rams club program.
“She is a passionate, high-energy person with impeccable integrity and has a very strong support network in the volleyball community,” Shel Hanser said. “She is a tremendous person and role model. She will be a wonderful addition to our athletic department in this capacity.”
Kufeld inherits a successful Class A program that finished third at last year’s state tournament.
“I had such a great experience last year,” she said.
The Rams have earned a trophy at the state tournament the last five years. Central has also won five consecutive Eastern A titles and six of the last eight.
Kufeld was a two-year starter for Billings Senior and played for three Class AA state championships teams. She plans to borrow heavily from their blueprint.
Kufeld will also bring the experience of playing volleyball from two diverse parts of the country.
“East coast volleyball is very different from the west,” she said. “I’m excited I’ll be able to pick and choose from both.”
Kufeld originally planned to go to pharmacy school after graduating with a degree in chemistry at Dartmouth but was two classes shy. She is now pursuing her CPA at Montana State Billings.
“Just a little change of plans,” Kufeld said.
She is also following the footsteps of her legendary great-grandfather Ed Bayne, the long-time baseball coach for the Billings American Legion baseball program. A statue of Bayne stands in front of Dehler Park.
“Ever since I was small, people have come up to me and told me what a great influence my great-grandfather was on their life,” said Kufeld. “I hope through time, I can have the same effect on the girls some day.”