Does absence really make the heart grow fonder?
Quoted previously as stating that Bayfield High is where his 'heart is,' Wolverine backers will see this winter what kind of difference a near-decade has made in the methodology of Jeff Lehnus. The former BHS coach, most recently the school's Dean of Students after a stretch heading the history department, was tabbed to replace the recently-resigned Randy Stephens.
"Jeff brings a passion, a high level of high school basketball experience and a great understanding of today's youth," Bayfield Athletic Director Dave Preszler had said in the revealing press release. "He is the perfect fit as BHS' next head boys' basketball coach."
Plucked from NCAA Division II Fort Lewis College in 1999 after one season assisting Keith Durham (current FLC boss Bob Hofman, then at Western State in Gunnison, had just been named the Denver Post RMAC Coach-of-the-Year after the '98-99 season), Lehnus then regularly guided BHS until apparently stepping into the classroom for good in 2005.
His previous prep coaching stops have included Shiprock, N.M., Farmington, N.M., and Durango. The head-coaching gig with the Demons went from '96-98, when he resigned and began college-level work.
Want to see something cool, fans?
Look online [http://www.kcc.edu/athletics/menssports/mbasketball/Pages/mb-1974-1993.aspx] and check out a young Lehnus in uniform during the 1981-82 season at Kankakee (Ill.) Community College. The Cavaliers were often ranked No. 1 nationwide, and finished the season 30-2 overall.
Last year, Bayfield went 11-9 overall in Stephens' lone season at the helm.