GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Senior High had two head coaching positions open in the fall after long-time coaches Bill Root, volleyball, and K.C. Hehnke, softball, announced their plans to retire from coaching.
Thursday, GISH activities director Cindy Wells announced Marcus Ehrke is the new varsity volleyball coach and Taylor Graves is the new varsity softball coach.
“I’m excited for our softball and volleyball programs with the addition of Coach Ehrke and Coach Graves,” Wells said. “They are both strong leaders, and I know they will continue the Islander tradition of excellence. I can’t wait for the upcoming seasons.”
Ehrke comes to Grand Island from Sidney Public Schools, where he has been since 2019. He is currently the high school physical education teacher, head volleyball coach and middle school basketball coach at Sidney Public Schools. Sydney’s volleyball team finished this past season 32-4 and the No. 3 seed in the Class B state tournament.
He also taught at Alma Public Schools in Alma, Nebraska from 2014-2019. He was also the head varsity volleyball coach in Alma from 2014-2018.
Ehrke graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in K-12 Health and Physical Education. In 2017, he earned a Masters of Arts in 7-12 Principal.
Graves is currently a fourth grade teacher at Engleman Elementary at Grand Island Public Schools.
Graves was the head softball coach at Father Tolton Catholic High School in Columbia, Missouri from June 2016 to May 2019. In the 2018-2019 season, her team won the conference, district and sectional championship for the first time in school history. Graves was named the 2018 AAA Conference Coach of the Year and the 2018-2019 Tribby Mid-Missouri Female Coach of the Year.
Graves earned her elementary education degree from Southeast Missouri State University in 2013. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2015 with a Master of Education in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum. Graves was a pitcher in college, playing for Boston University from 2009-2010 and Southeast Missouri State from 2010-2013. She earned many awards, including being named an NFCA Academic All-American in 2012 and 2013.