Mustang makes new coach hires in summer meetings

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By Kyle Salomon,

Five new head coaches were hired this summer at Mustang High School.

Caitlyn Bernhardt was hired to be the head volleyball coach, Chad Harper was hired to be the boys golf head coach, Mike Meledeo will be the new head girls golf coach, Vickie Bailey was hired to be the next head girls cross country coach and Katy Caudle will be the new head cheerleading coach.

Caitlyn Bernhardt, volleyball

Caitlyn Bernhardt is a 2008 Mustang High School graduate. She grew up playing volleyball with her twin sister. Bernhardt and her sister went to St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee to play volleyball.

Bernhardt and her sister suffered injuries that forced them out of playing the sport they loved. Bernhardt transferred to UCO, where she finished school as well as coached volleyball at Deer Creek High School.

She was the head junior varsity coach at Deer Creek and ran the club volleyball program. Last year, former Mustang head coach Taryn Steele called Bernhardt to ask her to come be an assistant on Steele’s staff.

Bernhardt jumped at the opportunity to come back to her alma mater and coach volleyball and teach kindergarten. Steele resigned her position as the head volleyball coach in January and the position was left open until several weeks ago when she was called into athletic director Chuck Bailey’s office for a meeting.

Bailey offered Bernhardt the job, and at the young age of 24, she accepted.

“I had always dreamed of coming back to my alma mater and coaching,” Bernhardt said. “But I never imagined it would be this soon. I was in shock, but I am really excited for the opportunity.”

Bernhardt brought Jodie Miles on staff to coach the junior varsity and Holly McDaniel to coach the freshmen.

The Lady Broncos volleyball squad opened practice on Monday in the wellness center at Mustang High School.

Chad Harper, boys golf

Chad Harper has been a fixture as a coach at Mustang High School for more than a decade. Harper has coached boys and girls golf and football since 2002 as a part of the Bronco family.

Harper coached the junior varsity boys and girls golf teams for a number of years, but as both programs began to grow rapidly in size, he just focused on the boys side of the course.

Former head coach Galen Wolfe was hired to be the next head coach in the mid-2000′s and Harper stayed on staff to coach the freshmen boys.

Wolfe stepped down at the end of this season and Harper decided it was time to make a run for the head coaching position.

Bailey decided to go with Harper as the guy to lead the boys golf program into the future.

“We want to make it fun for the kids,” Harper said. “Golf is a stressful game, so the more fun you can make it for them, the better they are going to play. We have a lot of great ideas on how we can take this program to the next level, so we are looking forward to getting started with those.”

Mike Meledeo, girls golf

Mike Meledeo is no stranger to Mustang golf as the longtime Mustang High School teacher coached golf for the Broncos from 1979-1983.

Meledeo decided to get out of teaching in 1984 and open a driving range that remained in business for 10 years before he decided to get back into the teaching world at MHS.

When longtime girls golf coach Rod Henning resigned at the end of the school year, Meledeo decided to pounce on the position.

After meeting with Bailey, Meledeo was hired on to be the next man in line to take over a top-level program.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity,” Meledeo said. “I’m looking forward to the chance to work with the girls and be a part of a tradition-filled program.”

Vickie Bailey, girls cross country

There are smooth transitions with coaching changes and there are rough ones. Vickie Bailey taking the girls cross country program over is a smooth one.

Bailey has been an assistant girls cross country coach and an assistant girls track coach for a number of years at Mustang High School.

The cross country program at MHS is arguably the most decorated program on campus right now. Bailey said she is grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “I know almost all of the kids and have learned a lot from working with Coach (Mike) McGarry and Coach (Mike) Mason over the years. There’s pressure to keep the program at the level it is at, but we are confident we will be successful.”

The Mustang cross country teams are practicing every Tuesday and Thursday during the summer at 7 a.m. at Wild Horse Park.