When unforeseen circumstances arise, dedicated individuals have to step up. Scott Mudgett did just that.
Mudgett, an eight-year volunteer coach for the Pillager Huskies freshmen boys' basketball team, stepped down from that position to become head coach of the varsity girls' basketball team.
He succeeded Tom Kavanaugh, who resigned last week because of health reasons.
"It's an unfortunate thing with what happened to coach Kavanaugh," said Pillager athletic director Dan Boushee. "I know Scott and Tom are friends and Tom feels confident in having Coach Mudgett there.
"It just shows that he's willing to help our school and our athletic program as much as he can."
Brainerd Dispatch/Nels Norquist
New Pillager head girls' basketball coach Scott Mudgett talked to his team during a Park Region Conference game against Sebeka Thursday. Mudgett succeeds Tom Kavanaugh, who resigned last week because of health problems.
Mudgett, who's also a Pillager School Board member, discussed the situation with his family and they said it could work.
"It was a very hard decision," said Mudgett, whose son, Dexter, is a sophomore on the varsity boys' team.
"I changed my mind three times. There is a lot of talent on the team and I just wanted to give the girls an opportunity. I saw this as an opportunity to continue to build a good program.
"Tom said they were good kids. They work hard and things just haven't gone the way they hoped."
Pillager owns a 2-9 record after going 9-18 last year. Mudgett has had just one practice with the girls, but helped the Huskies to a 68-59 Park Region Conference victory over Sebeka Thursday. He plans to change a few things, but not rush those changes.
"I'll try to bring in some of the boys' offenses in due time," said Mudgett. "I think I've always liked a man-to-man defense and Tom played a lot of zone."
Kavanaugh coached in the Pillager girls' basketball program for 10 years. This was his first year as head coach, which was his goal. Stepping down was a difficult decision for him but one his former team understood.
"It's been kind of hard because we're so used to the coach that we had," said sophomore captain Megan Carlson, whom Kavanaugh has coached since fourth grade. "It's OK that we have a new coach. Coach Kavanaugh didn't want to do anything to make himself worse."
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.