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Jenny Taratuta named Hillman girls basketball coach

The search for the next Hillman High School girls basketball coach is complete.

Jenny Taratuta agreed to become the next head coach and lead the Tigers onto the court beginning in the 2019-2020 season.

Hillman had a vacancy at the position since former head coach John Kuzewski stepped down on June 18, and on Thursday, Hillman High School Athletic Director Eric Muszynski announced that Taratuta would be the next girls varsity head coach.

“The thing that I liked about the hiring of Jenny is that she is familiar with the program. She’s been coaching Jr. High girls basketball and youth basketball and helping with the JV and varsity basketball teams so it will make for a smooth transition,” Muszynski said.

Taratuta will take over a girls varsity basketball program that has enjoyed tremendous success over the past half decade.

The Tigers won three district titles in the past five years under Kuzewski who finished with a 161-94 record during his 12 years as Hillman head coach.

The Tigers have also been a juggernaut in the North Star League, winning four NSL championships while compiling an 86-26 record in league play under Kuzewski.

Taratuta hopes to continue the strong winning tradition and carry the torch.

“Jenny is highly organized. She’s going to work real hard and the future is bright for her. She has good pieces coming back and the expectations are going to be high,” Muszynski said. “It will be different for her transitioning to Jr. High to varsity and John (Kuzewski) did a wonderful job during his 12 seasons and Jenny has been apart of the staff and helped the program so despite a few growing pains and the learning curve that is expected, I’m confident Jenny will have no problem adjusting quickly.”

According to Muszynski there was a strong pool of candidates that applied for the position, but it was Taratuta that made the most sense and was hired to lead the girls varsity team.

“There was a good candidate pool and it can be difficult to get candidates to apply for a position at a small school, but we had four great candidates and we just thought Jenny embraced the Hillman tradition the best out of the four and was the best candidate,” Muszynski said. “We just feel it will be a smoother transition for the girls who are already familiar with Jenny and we know Jenny is ready to compete and do the right things that we were looking for in a coach and I fully expect Jenny to continue carrying the torch and continue the success of the Hillman girls basketball program.”