Brookings Bobcats announce hiring of seven new coaches

Coaches begin in 2023-24 school year in boys basketball, competitive cheer, competitive dance, Special Olympics, boys soccer and girls wrestling

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BROOKINGS – Brookings High School announced the hiring of seven new coaches for the 2023-24 school year on Tuesday. The new coaches will serve boys basketball, competitive cheer, competitive dance, Special Olympics, boys soccer and girls wrestling.

Mike McCarty – Boys Basketball

McCarty was named as Brookings’s new head boys basketball coach after an All-State career at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls. He attended the University of Sioux Falls and Black Hills State University, becoming a two-time NAIA All-American. He previously coached basketball in the Spearfish School District before moving to Gillette, Wyo. where he coached girls basketball and taught in special education at Thunder Basin High School.

Over the past three years, the Thunder Basin girls’ basketball program has made three straight tournament appearances under McCarty, finishing fifth in 2021, third in 2022 and second in 2023. McCarty has 19 years of combined coaching experience between high school boys, girls and club teams.

Erinn Thomas – Volleyball

Thomas was named as the Bobcats’ head volleyball coach after a standout career at Brookings High School and two years with the South Dakota State volleyball team. Thomas has also served as the teen director for the Boys & Girls Club of Brookings for the past four years and has served as a coach for the Brookings Youth Volleyball Club for the past five years.

Eric Toft – Girls Wrestling

Toft was named the Bobcats’ first head coach in program history for girls wrestling. Toft has been involved in the program for the past two decades and spent the past two seasons working with both Bobcat boys and girls wrestlers. The girls wrestling program has seen an increase in participation numbers and has finished in the top six at the state wrestling tournament in each of the past two seasons. Tofft will work alongside head boys wrestling coach Matt Hanson while continuing his teaching duties at Medary Middle School. 

Reece Weber – Boys Soccer

Weber was named as the head coach for boys soccer after a career where he was a two-time captain for the Bobcats. Following high school, Weber attended Dakota Wesleyan University where he was a member of the men’s soccer program while earning his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. Weber currently serves as the executive director of the SoDak Spurs soccer club and coaches two youth soccer teams with multiple U.S. soccer coaching licenses. He will continue his role with the club soccer program while coaching the Bobcats.

Julie Engebretson – Competitive Dance

Engebretson will take over as the head coach for competitive dance. Engebretson is an alum of Brandon Valley High School, Minnesota State University, Mankato and the University of South Dakota with over 20 years of dance experience. Her background includes being a member, co-captain and coach for Dynamic Cheer and Dance Studio at Minnesota State University Mankato, a finalist for the Timberwolves Dance Team and a graduate of the Timberwolves Master Class training program. Engebretson works outside of the Brookings School District but is involved in a number of local activities including Girls on the Run, the United Way and b|well company.

Hanna Siemonsma – Competitive Cheer

Siemonsma will take over as the head coach in competitive cheer after spending the 2022 season as the program’s assistant coach and spending the two previous years as the Bobcats’ fall and winter coach in sideline cheer. A Brookings native and SDSU graduate, Siemonsma was a member of the Jackrabbit Cheer Team and has experience teaching and executing cheer skills, tumbling and stunts. She also has been involved with the South Dakota Army National Guard Leadership Program, which has provided her with experience in team building, problem-solving and life lessons.

Juli Sandoval – Special Olympics

Juli Sandoval was hired as a Special Olympics coach joining current coach Kelsey Klosterman. An Arlington native, Sandoval has been involved in Special Olympics since 2013 beginning with a stint with the Sioux Falls Fireworks. A level 11 Unified coach, she has experience coaching t-ball, bowling, ramp bowling, cheerleading and track. Sandoval will also continue her role as a Medical Services Assistant with Advance.