By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
When Dave Balza resigned as the men’s basketball coach at Bethany Lutheran College earlier this month, the program didn’t have to look too far to find his successor.
On Tuesday, Bethany announced that lead assistant coach Greg Holzhueter will be taking over the program effective immediately. The North Mankato native attended Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School and Martin Luther College in New Ulm before becoming Balza’s assistant two years ago.
“It’s been a quick two years since I was a senior at Martin Luther, but I believe I’m prepared for this,” Holzhueter said. “I learned a lot the last two years working under Dave, and I believe I’m ready to apply that knowledge to the Bethany program.”
Balza and Holzhueter coached the Vikings to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship game in each of the last two season. They guided BLC to the program’s first regular-season UMAC title in 2011-12.
Holzhueter said he’s already heavily into recruiting as the Vikings are graduating their top six players in terms of minutes played. In addition to his new head coaching responsibilities, Holzhueter will continue to serve the Residential Life department as a resident manager.
“Greg has worked hard and been instrumental in the success that we have had over the past couple of seasons,” Bethany athletic director Karl Fager said in a press release. “He has built great relationships with our team and our recruits.”