Two new varsity coaches hired at Somerset
There will be two new varsity coaches in Somerset this spring, though both are familiar faces to Spartan sports fans.
Terry Otradovec will become the head boys and girls track coach at SHS. Dave Praschak retired from the girls varsity coaching position and Mike Holmquist accepted a teaching position in Minnesota after serving as the boys coach the past three years.
Ball is one of the most successful coaches in Wisconsin high school baseball history. In his 33 years coaching at New Richmond, his teams amassed a 553-226 record, winning 16 conference championships. His teams appeared in the WIAA state summer baseball championships nine times. He also has extensive administrative experience, serving as the athletic director at New Richmond High School for 17 years.
Ball is a 1999 inductee into the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was a member of the inaugural class of the New Richmond High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
After Ball and New Richmond parted ways in 2009, he was asked to become an assistant coach in the Somerset coaching staff. Ball was not seeking a head coaching position.
“We reached out to him and he said he’d do it this year,” said Somerset athletic director Bill Roll. “John’s been Brandon’s right-hand man for four years. He knows what we have for players, our strengths, and he’s got experience with the youth level.”
Roll said that with the short time-frame between the application process and the start of the season, asking Ball to serve as the interim coach gives younger candidates a chance to assess their interest. Roll said the position would be posted again sometime this spring.
Ball’s coaching staff will include Mike Tetzlaff, Dave Measner and Zac Eichten.
Otradovec began volunteering with the Somerset football coaching staff several years ago. Now he coaches teams in all three seasons. He is an assistant coach in football and girls basketball and has been the throws coach the past several years for the track team.
Otradovec has experience as a coach and athletic director before coming to Somerset. A graduate of Green Bay Notre Dame High School, he was involved in football and track. He attended UW-Platteville for one year, suffering an injury while playing football. He transferred to UW-Oshkosh in 2003 with a physical education degree. He earned his master’s degree from UW-La Crosse.
After he graduated, he taught in two school districts: Goodman-Armstrong and Elcho. He coached several sports and was head football coach for one year. He also served as athletic director in both districts.
To spend more time with his family, Otradovec left teaching and took a job in corrections. He works as a probation and parole agent for the Department of Corrections.
When he moved to this area, Otradovec emailed a number of football coaches, asking if they needed any help on their staff. The only coach he heard from was Somerset coach Bruce Larson. Somerset needed a defensive line coach, so Otradovec joined up. It didn’t take long before he was recruited to join the track and girls basketball staffs.
“I enjoy working with kids, doesn’t matter what it is,” Otradovec said.
Otradovec sees correlations between his job and coaching.
“Everyone has difficult issues. People make poor decisions and we’re there to help them. Just like a coach, we’re there to support them,” he said.
Otradovec is working toward completing his coaching staff. He hopes to have the track staff completed by the Feb. 23 spring sports meeting.