Dawn Rye |Writer
Everyone could say they go the extra mile when it comes to working. However, almost no one does it without sacrifice and hard work. An extra mile is a place filled with opportunities that could make a difference. Recently, Rutland School District staff member Crystal Hansen was offered the head coach position for the Lady Raiders basketball team.
She currently lives in Nunda with her husband Cody, son Karson and daughter Kenlee.
Hansen, daughter of Brenda Jorgenson and step-dad Mike Jorgensen from Parker and dad Alwade Abbas and step-mom Shauna Abbas of Sioux Falls, graduated from Parker High School.
While growing up in Parker, Hansen remembers playing basketball, volleyball, track and softball. Through her years in high school, Jill Christensen, Bill Leberman, Roger Deutch and Marlys Davis pushed her to be the best she could be.
Her favorite sport was basketball because she played it non-stop at home. She also enjoyed softball because their games were at night.
Her coaching career began in 2008 when she coached volleyball and junior high girls’ basketball for the 08-09 season. She became the head volleyball coach in 2009 through 2012 and took 2013 off to spend time with her newborn son. She got the opportunity to convert from assistant coach to head high school volleyball coach in 2014 through 2016 and received the Dakota Valley Conference Coach of the Year award in 2016. Hansen said that during the 2016 season, she had a great group of girls that competed against Chester in the region game. Even today, that game is remembered by locals and how that should have been the state championship match.
From 2015 – 2019 she coached her children’s t-ball seasons and coached her daughter’s fastpitch softball team. From 2018 to 2020, she coached Junior Olympic volleyball. She became the assistant coach in 2019-2020 for girls’ basketball coach and the head coach in 2021.
Hansen said she is most excited about pushing the group of very athletic girls. Her goals are to have a quick offense and score more points than in previous games. She plans to accomplish these goals by conditioning the girls with a lot of shooting and passing drills. Hansen noted that she is nervous about living up to the communities’ expectations for the 2021 basketball team when it comes to filling the head coaching position.