The Alexandria boys hockey team needs a new head coach, but it’s taking longer than expected to find one.

Following the 2019-20 Section 6A runner-up season for the Cardinals, former head coach Ian Resch stepped down after seven seasons. Following his resignation, the Coronavirus hit and athletics around the country felt the impact.

While a big loss comes for the seniors in spring sports who won’t get to play their final games this year, the spread of COVID-19 has made it difficult for decision-makers behind the scenes.

“We would’ve had a new head coach by now,” Alexandria Activities Director Ben Kvidt said. “We would’ve posted the job right after the hockey banquet wrapped up. When distance learning started, we had a lot of changes going on at the district level. We considered the fact that the hockey coach can’t work with the athletes until June 1, so that’s the goal. We want this person hired by then.”

While some aspects of the job search are the same, the interviews will take place via video chat. While video interviews help get the job done, Kvidt is missing the human element of a conversation he can only get in person.

“The stay-at-home order makes things a challenge,” Kvidt said. “We’ll either use Zoom or Google Hangouts. When you’re hiring, it’s nice to be able to meet the person. We might look at the process where we bring candidates in while maintaining social distancing. It’s definitely different.”

Whoever takes on the challenge of the new head coach of the Cardinals is going to have some big shoes to fill. In Resch’s seven years in Alexandria, he led his teams to five section-title game appearances and a state runner-up finish in 2017-18.

“I think he’s going to be missed a lot,” Kvidt said. “He brought in a ton of credibility and a lot of success. It’s hard to replace that experience, and I think that’s what Ian brought in. We’re going to miss that, but hopefully, we’ll find somebody to come in and lead us in the right direction.”

Kvidt isn’t just looking for a coach who will keep the program at a high level, but also a person who will build connections with their athletes.

“We’re looking for people who are passionate about their kids and their sport. That’s for all coaches, not just hockey,” Kvidt said. “Building relationships with these kids and making connections with them are going to last a lifetime. We are looking for people who are good at communicating and are willing to push themselves professionally. All of those things make up a coach who is like a magnet who kids want to be around.”