A unique path finds Ashley and Curt Ludtke with a large impact on FHC athletics


Looking back on the history of FHC athletics, there had not been many occurrences of a husband-and-wife coaching duo. Ashley and Curt Ludtke match that description, as they have made a heavy impact in their time coaching at FHC. 

“Coach Ashley Ludtke has taught me a lot throughout my career so far,” senior soccer player Katie Hurbanis said. “She’s very positive and always does what is best for the team.”

Ashley Ludtke started her coaching career in 2008, when she had just graduated from college. She was contacted by the AD from FHC at the time about an opportunity to coach at her alma mater. She originally was looking for a full-time elementary position, but figured she could do both.

“At first, I was eyeing an elementary position but that changed when the athletic director of FHC at the time contacted me,” Ashley Ludtke said. “I was excited about the opportunity to get back on the field while staying connected in the school system.”

The varsity soccer program has been a contender in the state of Michigan ever since coach Ludtke has arrived. 

“Ashley has created an environment that strives for excellence and performance,” athletic secretary Kristi Swayze said. “That has transferred to winning and on-the-field success for our soccer program.”

Some of the best moments in coach Ludtke’s career have included continued success in the OK White every year and winning regionals last year and in 2019. After the Rangers defeated Hudsonville in the regional final in June of 2021, they were outlasted in the state semis by Hartland. Although they did not win a state championship, coach Ludtke was very proud of their effort and will remember their accomplishments forever. 

As for Curt Ludtke, he recently started his coaching career this year after an opening for the freshman basketball team was announced. Curt Ludtke would team up with head coach Gordon Shields to coach the talented freshman basketball squad. 

“I played with coach Carhart here at FHC, so when he reached out, it was a no-brainer to take the job,” Curt Ludtke mentioned. “We accomplished a 23-2 season and I am looking to install the same work ethic into the program.”

In his first year, coach Ludtke helped the freshman basketball team to an impressive season. The Rangers had a tough non-conference schedule and escaped with only one loss to East Kentwood. They entered conference play confident and it came down to three teams in the last week. FHC defeated Byron Center, then GRC beat Byron Center to award a three-way tie for first in the conference. In a successful ending, the Rangers ended up with a share of the conference title.

“Coach Ludtke brought a lot of energy and passion to the team this year,” freshman Denis Medic said. “I specifically remember a box-out drill that was always his favorite.”

The fact that the Ludtke’s are both coaches at their alma mater is distinctive, but managing three kids at home has added to the workload. Both enjoy coaching while managing the kids and they believe it will benefit all parties as they grow older. 

“I love the fact that Ashley and I coach at FHC while raising our three kids here,” Curt Ludtke said. “We have three daughters–aged nine, seven, and three–and it has been tough to balance family time and coaching time. But, it has definitely been worth it.”