Cumberland coach Donna Vicini has been named the school's first volleyball coach, while Cawood coach Ben Baker has been selected to lead the school's golf program.
In three years as the head volleyball coach, Vicini led the Lady Skins to three 50th District titles. In fact, Cumberland didn't lose a district match during Vicini's tenure.
The coach, who served as an assistant coach for one year before becoming the head coach at Cumberland, said the Lady Bears will likely field a freshman team in addition to the junior varsity and varsity squads.
"You can build your teams starting from those younger ones," she said. "I hope I get a large turnout. I haven't met with any of the girls yet. We're going to do that in the very near future to see how many girls we're going to have, and we'll go from there."
On the court, Vicini said her approach will remain the same.
"You get your best spikers and your best setter, and you go from there," she said. "That's all you can do when it comes to volleyball."
After her three Cumberland teams fell just short of a spot among the 13th Region's elite, Vicini is confident that the addition of talent from Cawood and Evarts will be enough to turn the Lady Bears into perennial contenders.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity, and I think it's wonderful that we're putting the three schools together," she said. "Hopefully, we're going to get a powerhouse out of that."
Baker coached the Cawood golf team for six years, beginning with the 2002 season. With Aaron Watkins leading the way, Cawood won the county golf championship each of the past four seasons.
Baker said he is looking forward to building a winning tradition at Harlan County High School.
"I think it's a great opportunity for me," he said. "I know there were some really good younger players at Cumberland last year, and I'm hoping to be able to bring them up. They've got a lot of potential.
"I've heard word of some possible kids up in the Evarts area, and they've never had a golf team before, so for me, it's very exciting to try to expand it to all parts of the county."
Baker is hopeful that the school will also be able to offer girls golf.
"I've already heard of at least two girls (who want to play)," he said. "I've tried to get a girls team every year that I've been coaching, tried to get girls interested in playing. It's a lot easier for girls to get a college golf scholarship than boys. I'm hoping, when all is said and done, that we'll have a (girls) team."
Like Vicini, Baker said he expects his team to be in the regional picture right away.
"I think we'll be competitive," he said. "Each year that I coached (at Cawood), we improved. I think we can do the same thing with all the talent we should have available. We'll have a very young team this year, from what I know of, but I'm expecting us to at least be in the top 10."
Harlan County principal Bob Howard said the coaches' experience was the key factor in the hirings.
"We're going with experience early. That's the one thing we're looking at with a lot of these placements," he said. "Experience is real necessary right now, because we're going into a completely new school, and we just don't have a lot of time to build experience.
"That's going to be at the top in every position we hire - 'What can you do to help us get this program off and running?'"