Prescott and Plum City will each have new athletic directors for the upcoming school year.
Angie Laehn will take on the athletic director duties at Plum City after Nanette Murray left to take on the same role in New Auburn. Laehn has taught middle school Language Arts in the district for 27 years.
Now that Angie and her husband Shaughn Laehn are “empty nesters,” she said they were both looking for ways to get involved in athletics again. They each coached when they first moved into the Plum City area. Now they’re each getting back into it.
Shaughn Laehn will take over the head coaching duties for Plum City/Elmwood girls basketball.
“When he got the girls basketball job, I realized I would have a lot of time on my hands and then I saw the AD position opened up and I thought maybe I would try that,” Angie Laehn said.
Matt Smith will replace Kyle Igou as athletic director and assistant principal at Prescott High School. Smith was a general business teacher and had been an assistant athletic director.
“This is a job that I have been working towards for some time both professionally and personally through schooling and by being in leadership positions,” Smith said. “Prescott has a strong tradition in academics, arts and athletics. My hope is to help continue this tradition and grow in all aspects.”
Smith has been coaching football at Prescott for seven years and softball for 10 years. As of Sunday, August 6, Smith did not plan to step away from these roles. Smith told the Herald through text Tuesday, August 8, that he would be stepping down from his duties as head coach of the football team. Kevin Haglund will take over for Smith in an interim head coaching role.
Laehn coaches the middle school and high school forensics team. She said she plans on remaining in that role.
Each of these new athletic directors will have resources nearby to help with the transition. For Smith, Igou will still be in the school district as the Prescott Middle School principal.
Laehn has already been in contact with Elmwood athletic director Mike Birtzer.
“Thank god for email because I think we’ll probably be emailing on a daily basis,” Laehn said. “With our co-op, we’ll need to be in conversation a lot.”
“Angie is someone that fits the description of a high school athletic director perfectly because she loves sports and she is very concerned about the well-being of her student-athletes,” Birtzer said. “The co-op sports really do not change the role all that much. As an athletic director you need to work for the good of all of your student-athletes and Angie is someone who understands that.”
Now, both athletic directors are excited for competitions to get underway.
“It should be a great learning experience and it will give me an excuse to be at even more ball games throughout the long winter,” Laehn said.
And they’re grateful for the opportunities.
“As proud graduates and residents of Prescott, my wife and I are looking forward to continuing raising our kids here, with our tremendous schools and excited for what the future holds here,” Smith said. “I want to thank the district for this opportunity and look forward to it, as I am beyond excited.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to indicate that Matt Smith stepped down from the role of head football coach. At the time it was originally published for the August 9 edition of the Pierce County Herald, Smith still planned to remain as head coach.