Hoener replaces Tim Strobel who announced plans to retire earlier this month after 27 years as principal at New Haven. In closed session Monday, Hoener was granted release Monday from his contract with the Gasconade County R-2 School District by unanimous vote of the Board of Education, according to Dr. Chuck Garner, incoming superintendent.
Hoener’s appointment to the New Haven post was also unanimous, according to Amy Schenck, central office secretary for the New Haven school system.
“He was a true Dutchman,” said Garner about Hoener. “I’m happy for Josh and his family and I think that will be a good move for him. It’s a big loss for our district. We wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
Hoener will officially begin his new job at New Haven on Aug. 1. He was also teaching the TV studio class at OHS.
Family played a big role in the difficult decision that was in front of Hoener. He served patrons of the Gasconade County R-2 School District for 16 years with nine of those as athletic director.
“They (New Haven) started talking to me about it (principal opening) and it will give me a chance to be with my kids and be more of a parent than I was able to be while here in Owensville,” said Hoener on Tuesday. “I was not looking to leave here (Owensville). It was a very hard decision to make but I did it for my family.”
Hoener lives in New Haven with his wife, Jaime, and their daughters, Lucy and Maggie. Jaime teaches math and is the head volleyball coach for the Lady Shamrocks.
Graduating from OHS as a co-valedictorian in 1993, Hoener moved on to the University of Missouri-Rolla for three years (now Missouri S&T) to major in geological engineering before switching to Mizzou and majoring in education.
After competing in track at Mizzou, Hoener earned his Masters in Secondary Administration degree in December, 2007 from William Woods University.
After his return to Owensville as a coach in the fall of 1998, Josh followed in his father John’s footsteps when he became athletic director before the 2004-05 school year. His mother, Paula Hoener, also served the district for 27 years as a secretary at Owensville Elementary School.
Under Hoener’s guidance and leadership over the last nine years, the R-2 athletic facilities have taken a big step forward.
To go with the new turf multi-purpose field and track under construction at Dutchmen Field, Hoener has overseen construction of a new press box and storage shed along with a project to refinish all gym floors.
“My plan is to stay another three weeks to provide as much volunteer help as possible on the field project,” Hoener said. “I’m hoping to take some time off in July before preparing for my new position at New Haven.”
Before — and after — becoming athletic director, Hoener also had the chance to coach wrestling, football and track.
“I’ve seen a number of phenomenal athletes come and go from OHS,” Hoener said. “When I first got here, Mike Linhardt, Beau Viehmann and Neil Nowack started our success in football for a long time to come.”
Working both sides of the ball in the 2000s, Hoener served as offensive coordinator of Owensville’s 2003 final four team and defensive coordinator for the 2006 team that went on to fall to Harrisonville in the Class 3 Show Me Bowl.
“I was very fortunate to be able to coach a lot of great kids and work with them,” Hoener said.
Action to release Hoener from his contract was required, said Garner, since contracts are automatically renewed unless notice of intent to leave is received by June 1. Garner called the action a “formality” since Hoener was seeking to better himself with career advancement.
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