Bears name Sadie Norris, assistant in
softball, as that sport’s new leader
By CHRIS HOBBS
CLAREMONT – Lee Swanson is moving from varsity boys’ basketball head coach at Bunker Hill High to guiding the girls’ varsity team next season.
Bunker Hill Athletic Director James Byrd confirmed by e-mail on Wednesday that Swanson — the boys’ leader for the past four seasons — will replace Randy Joines as girls’ head coach.
Joines is retiring as a teacher and head girls’ basketball and softball coach.
Byrd said Sadie Norris, Joines’ assistant coach in softball, has been promoted to head coach in that sport.
The Bears will now search for their sixth boys’ varsity head coach in 41 years.
Swanson, a former South Caldwell basketball player, came to Bunker Hill in 2015 and replaced Matt Wilkinson, who left to become head boys’ varsity coach at Newton-Conover.
When Swanson arrived, the Bears were in the midst of nine straight postseason bids. They went 10-16 in his first year and made the state playoffs then went 2-23 in 2016-17 and did not reach the postseason.
Two seasons ago, Bunker Hill’s boys were 13-13 and reached the state playoffs. Last season, they were 16-11 and made the state playoffs after tying Hibriten for second place in the Northwestern Foothills 2A (their best league finish since the 1988-89 team that played for a state 2A title).
On Wednesday, Swanson tweeted this to the boys’ basketball players at Bunker Hill: “Would like to say thank u to the young men @ The Hill! What a great run & huge success u guys have had & will continue to have.
“I will continue to do anything for u & always have your back.
“It’s not a goodbye, I’ll still be here pulling for u & here for U any time. Good luck & thanks!
Next season will be his 11th as a head coach in area prep basketball (71-177 record) – his six boys’ teams at South Caldwell went 30-114 and to the state playoffs four times and his four Bunker Hill teams went 41-63 and to the state playoffs three times.
Bunker Hill’s girls, meanwhile, were 20-9 last season under Joines with their second-place tie in the Northwestern Foothills 2A with Patton their best finish since a second in 2008-09. They have not won a league title since sharing one in 2002-03.
Swanson tweeted this to the girls’ players at Bunker Hill: “To the young ladies at The Hill, I’m excited to be leading you. We have lofty goals and a lot of work to do to reach them.
“I’m blessed with a great group and ready to start working. We are going to #FinishTheFight.”
Swanson is the fifth varsity girls’ head coach at Bunker Hill since Tommy Edwards retired and the sixth since 1979-80 (see graphic).
Norris inherits a softball team (12-9) that went three rounds deep in the state 2A playoffs this season after reaching the West 2A title series the year before (going 17-8).
Joines coached the Bears’ softball team for six years and an 89-45 record.