HELENA — Longtime Carroll College offensive line coach Jim Hogan retired on Monday.
Carroll hired head Helena High coach Tony Arntson as his replacement on Tuesday.
Hogan’s departure left a long list of responsibilities that needed to be taken on, in particular the strength and conditioning program.
Defensive line coach Alex Kastens will take over that duty. Kastens has familiarity with the program – having trained in it and coaching it with Hogan – and having a fiery passion for competition.
“I know Alex has enthusiasm and intensity certainly being a defensive line coach,” Saints coach Mike Van Diest said at a press conference to introduce Arntson on Tuesday. “I think that carries over to that job. He’s going to handle that.”
Van Diest said when he and Hogan talked about his departure, they agreed Kastens was the right fit for the job.
“He’s been working under Jim,” Van Diest said. “Certainly he played for us so he knows our strength program. He’s got a great concept.”
Before the transition to Kastens began, the Saints decided to update some of their practices in strength training.
That led to Kastens and tight ends coach Alex Pfannenstiel surveying “six or seven” coaches at FBS or FCS schools to see where the Saints could improve and “get an update on things and try to change some of the mentality and not the same static program that you can get into when we’ve been together for 18 or 19 years,” Van Diest said.
With weight room and facilities upgrades over the past off seasons, the Saints have the right digs for whatever adjustments they deem fit.
Kastens will also have a hand in helping players find summer jobs.
Van Diest along with coaching the offensive line, Arntson will also take on ordering equipment and managing it. He said Arntson’s long background as a head coach made him the right fit.
Pfannenstiel will also serve as Carroll’s recruiting coordinator.
“We’ll be a little more organized,” Van Diest said. “We’ll have no umbrella over it all, bringing the coaches in together and maybe expanding our recruiting coverage.”
WESTERN HOLDING BENEFIT
Montana Western announced it will send its proceeds – gate money and a 50-50 drawing — from the Bulldogs’ Feb. 14. home game to benefit former UMW coach and athletic director, Mark Durham.
Durham is battling cancer.
He coached men’s basketball from 1996-2005 and golf from 2000-07. He served as athletic director from 2006-12.
Western also said the first 400 fans to enter Feb. 14’s contest will receive “Durham Strong” t-shirts.
Wednesday was National Signing Day. Though NAIA schools don’t adhere to same signing periods as the NCAA, most capitalized on the hype and announced football signing classes. Be sure to check 406mtsports.com to see what Frontier Conference schools did.