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CERRO GORDO – Blake Doehring's departure opened up a couple of spots at Cerro Gordo.

In his place come a pair of new faces.

Brandon Willard became the new boys basketball coach in the Cerro Gordo-Bement coop while Jason Jacobs was promoted as Cerro Gordo's new athletic director.

It will be a step up for Willard.

Willard previously coached the Bloomington Junior High 8th grade boys basketball team and led that program to the IESA Class 4A state semifinals just this past school year.

Cerro Gordo superintendent Brett Robinson described Willard as somebody with unwavering energy and a positive attitude.

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“I think the biggest thing was his passion for the game and just the way he wants to go about it in a positive manner and building a rapport,” Robinson said of Willard, “but at the same time, having high expectations for the kids and I think he'll do a great job.”

Robinson said Willard immediately arrived at Cerro Gordo after the school board's approval on May 31.

He takes over a program that went 8-42 in two years under Doehring, who left to become the assistant boys basketball coach at Effingham.

“I think we have a group of kids who are hungry to take the program from where it's at and be competitive,” Robinson said. “I think they're excited to begin working, and they already are. So, they're having a good summer so far.”

Jacobs coached the Cerro Gordo junior high boys basketball and track teams.

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