Fahnlander trades in softball glove for golf clubs

It was not one particular moment that convinced Chad Fahnlander to try something different — it was several.

They actually took place around the time of the state golf tournament in June. Fahnlander had just taken over head coaching duties of the girls program after former coach Scott Dillinger resigned. He had one girl on the roster on the fringe of making it to the state tournament, but they missed the cut by three strokes.

Over three months later, Fahnlander still remembered how inconsolable she was after coming so far and falling just short. Fahnlander had to shake that off fast, however, because he had to accompany Jenna Muller and Josephine Kim to the state tournament.

Muller finished 33rd overall, while Kim missed the cut after the first day. It was the highs and lows the state tournament brought to the Raiders in May that inspired Fahnlander to go from interim girls golf coach to head coach after the state tournament. Jefferson athletic director Mike Grady named Fahnlander head coach not long after the state tournament.

“The girls love to compete, and it’s every single day, not just on game days,” Fahnlander said. “The girls in this program love to show they’re as good as the guys. That attitude has made it easy to love coaching the girls side of things.”

Fahnlander is no stranger to Jefferson athletics. He will begin his 24th year with the school in the fall, and this will be his 15th year as a coach for the Raiders.

Fahnlander spent 14 years coaching Raiders baseball and softball.

Golf became an option after Fahnlander befriended former boys golf coach Dave Hunter. Hunter gave Fahnlander the opportunity to become an assistant coach. Because of that, he spent his summers golfing as much as he could to get a better understanding of the game.

“I’m so excited for the season to start,” Fahnlander said. “I have two things I want the girls to do this year: commit to their shot and compete every single day.”

Jefferson golf is on the rise again.

Not only is Fahnlander taking over as head coach of the program, he gets a handful of veteran golfers like Kim back this season.

There are many reasons Fahnlander is excited for the upcoming golf season.

Fahnlander, the former softball coach, is trying something new, and it has proven to be a good choice.

“We have girls on this team who want it so bad,” Fahnlander said. “They want it so bad that when they don’t make it to state they cry about it. You can’t teach that passion. This team already comes with that passion.”

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