Though New Life Academy's girls basketball team won't begin playing games for another five months, the first few weeks of the season already appear hectic for new coach David Woolf.
Woolf, who coached the Eagles' boys junior varsity team the past five seasons, was hired June 2 to replace Terry Zeitlow. His wife Missy, who will serve as an assistant coach, is due with the couple's first child Nov. 18, just about the time New Life gets its season started.
Depending on what the stork delivers, Woolf could have one more girl to worry about than the ones he'll coach.
Nevertheless, the 27-year-old physical education and health teacher said he was ready to make the move to the varsity level.
"I've enjoyed being an assistant, but I want my own team," Woolf said. "Terry built a good program and this is going to be a good team next year."
New Life went 21-8 last season, setting a school record for victories in a season and carried the No. 1 seed into Sub-section 4A. The Eagles will boast one of the top backcourts in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association in seniors Katie Lerud and Destiny Gott.
The key to New Life's success last season was its ability to run the floor. Woolf said he plans to make a few tweaks to the Eagles' systems, but overall the team will play the same hustling, pressing style. New Life is practicing three nights a week for seven weeks during the summer to prepare.
"We'll have five seniors next year, and those are the girls you look to for composure and leadership come March Madness," Woolf said.
Woolf brought his junior varsity boys teams to success in the MCAA. New Life lost only one conference game last season, winning the MCAA regular season and tournament titles.
"He's going to keep the girls program at a high level and give them a shot at making that next step," said Doug Linton, Eagles varsity boys coach.
New Life Athletic Director Curt Wetsel said Woolf was hired over three external candidates for his in-house status, previous success and personality.
Woolf graduated from Northwestern Bible College in St. Paul, where as a fifth-year student he took a job coaching New Life's eighth-grade boys team. One of his players was Matt Woelffer, who happened to have an older sister named Missy, who David married.
The Woolfs will now embark on a new coaching and parenting challenge that's sure to get interesting come November.