Alex Rhinehart will draw on his experience working alongside such coaches as Marvin Lewis, Bud Lewis and Larry Kehres as he takes over the reins of the Wilmington High School girls soccer program.
“Coaching is teaching, and teaching is all about development,” said Rhinehart who was officially hired Monday night by the Wilmington City Schools Board of Education. “In most sports, less than five percent of high school athletes go on to play at the collegiate level, so my goal is to develop our players first and foremost as students and citizens while developing their skill and teamwork on the pitch.
“With my background as a certified strength and condition coach and athletic trainer, I see injury prevention and physical development as cornerstones of any coaching plan. So we will implement quality evidence-based training techniques in these aspects. My approach to soccer is controlled and tactical with a focus on developing quality individual skill first. I am very excited to have an assistant coach, Haley Brausch, at my side that I think will be instrumental in the individual skill development of our players.”
Rhinehart takes over from Kerry Lewis, the most successful girls soccer coach in WHS history who retired after the 2017 season.
“Teaching is where I have extensive experience, serving as a college professor in the sports performance and sports medicine disciplines for most of the last decade,” he said. “So I expect to draw heavily on my teaching experience and transfer that to the soccer pitch. During my career in college athletics I was also fortunate to work closely as an athletic trainer with several athletic teams that were coached by hall of fame coaches like Larry Kehres, Marvin Lewis, and Bud Lewis.”
A 2005 graduate of Wilmington High School, Rhinehart played soccer, football, basketball and tennis while wearing the orange and black of WCS. He continued his athletic career by playing tennis at Wilmington College. He interned for a year with the Cincinnati Bengals as an athletic trainer.
Rhinehart then moved to Hawaii and earned his master’s degree in kinesiology and rehabilitation sciences from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. From Hawaii Rhinehart went on to work at the University of Mount Union as a professor and athletic trainer for several teams, including a national champion football team. He returned to his native Wilmington to work for Drayer Physical Therapy and Wilmington College.
“Since my time as a student at Wilmington College I have been volunteering, as time allowed, as a coach with several of the sports teams at the high school,” he said. “My formal coaching experience may not be extensive, but coaching at its simplest is teaching in the athletic arena.
“As for tactics, one of the best lessons I ever learned from a coach came from eleven time national champion Larry Kehres. He stressed that you can’t impose a system of play on players that don’t fit that system. Rather you should develop your system of play based on the strengths and weakness of your players.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email email@example.com or on Twitter @wnjsports