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Liberty High staff keeps on growing

More coaches named to lead the Lightning
Jeff Kelley discusses strategy with the Iowa City West High Women of Troy in 2012. Kelley took West to its first state tournament appearance and was named Class 5A Coach of the Year in 2012, resigning in 2013. Kelley was hired to coach Liberty High’s freshman softball team for 2017. (file photo by Chris Umscheid)

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Liberty High School is growing again as Principal and interim Athletic Director Scott Kibby adds staff ahead of the school’s opening in August. Kibby announced three new coaching positions which included two familiar faces.
Jeff Gordon, who led the freshmen football team to a 6-4 record in its debut season, will head up the sophomore program when the Bolts (including many of the “Original” or “O-Bolts”) take to the gridiron this fall.
“Jeff brings an energy and positivity to all he does,” Kibby said. “He has a passion for working with kids and for working in the town he grew up. He encourages kids to get better continually.”
Gordon, currently a social studies teacher at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, will also teach at Liberty.
Jeff Kelley is back coaching prep softball and will lead the freshmen softball team this summer. Kelley spent five years heading the Iowa City West High’s varsity Women of Troy with a 153-58 overall record and a 100-30 Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) showing. Kelley also guided West High to its first state softball tournament appearance in 2012. The team finished fourth in Class 5A and Kelley was named the 5A Coach of the Year.
He resigned from West High in April of 2013 and later coached at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa. He will head up the varsity program, in 2018, when Liberty joins the MVC. Liberty will be independent of any athletic conference in the 2017-2018 school year.
Brent Kimm was hired to serve as Liberty’s first baseball coach. Kimm, who runs the Tigers Youth Baseball Program in North Liberty, will lead the freshmen this season. Kibby noted the Tigers will feed into Liberty.
Overall Kibby said he’s hired about 95 percent of his teaching positions and 15 percent of the coaching spots are filled. Administrative positions were to be hired the week of April 10 with, “lots of custodians, kitchen staff and support staff to hire still.” Kibby anticipates hiring an athletic director and assistant principal, as well.
Also, with Liberty’s own athletic complex a few years in the distance, a practice diamond for softball is scheduled to be built for the summer of 2018.
“No dugouts or frills,” Kibby said, “Just a space to practice as there are so many community needs in the parks that we felt until Liberty had a diamond on its property that we’d be wise to have a home of our own for practices.” He added, “We’ll still need to play our games in the community parks.”