Hulke set to return as Sleepy Eye girl’s basketball coach

SLEEPY EYE – Ryan Hulke confirmed on Wednesday that he will be returning as the girl’s basketball coach at Sleepy Eye, one month after resigning.

Hulke said he had a change of heart about his coaching job at Sleepy Eye when he interviewed for another position not long ago.

“As I sat in the interview, I kept bragging about what I had at Sleepy Eye and how many girls were playing in the spring and summer and the dedication they have,” Hulke told The Journal on Wednesday. “The guy who was interviewing me flat-out said, ‘We don’t have anything like that, I don’t know if our girls will do that.’

“I looked back and realized what I had at Sleepy Eye and decided I would want to go back.”

One of the main reasons Hulke originally resigned was the toll coaching took on him in conjunction with working full-time at St. Peter. However, he said it is a small price he is willing to pay.

“I love doing it and I enjoy how much time and passion those girls have,” Hulke said. “I’m willing to sacrifice for four months for them to be successful and our team to be successful.”

Summer ball is the next step for Hulke and his team in preparing for the upcoming season this winter.

“We pack our summers,” Hulke said. “Out of the 16 girls that I have coming back that have played JV and varsity, I think 12 of them are playing AAU ball. So they’ve been playing a ton and they want to continue to do so. Anytime they want to be in the gym, we’ll try to give them an opportunity.”

Hulke is the third-winningest coach in Sleepy Eye girl’s basketball history, having gone 44-39 in his three seasons as its coach.

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