Hartmann has plenty of coaches to replace this summer
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
Boys’ track and field coach Jerry Amundson is just the beginning of the list of coaches that District 206 activities director Dr. David Hartmann is currently responsible for replacing this summer.
Adapted bowling coach Carol Feldmann and varsity head boys’ soccer coach David Vinje also handed in their resignations after their seasons. Vinje made the decision to go back to Minnesota State University-Moorhead to finish his degree.
“We encouraged him to do that,” Hartmann said. “He has given a lot to run our boys’ soccer program. It was time for him to get his degree. I think he will be done in a year or maybe a year and a semester…he will graduate with a teaching degree in English, speech and who knows, down the road we may get him back here someday.”
Feldmann decided now was time to step away after turning the Alexandria adapted bowling team into one of the best programs in the state during her 12 years as head coach.
“She’s the first and only coach we’ve had,” Hartmann said. “She has great passion…I’ve gone to the state tournament every year, and the respect she has from the other coaches, her involvement in the kids. She’s put her heart and soul into that program and built probably one of the best teams in the state.”
Amundson did the same during his 32 years as head coach of the Cardinal boys’ track and field program. Hartmann knows the experience Amundson had from his 37 years total of coaching track and field will be difficult to replace.
“That’s a tough one,” Hartmann said. “He’s been a very positive person with the kids. He always celebrated the kids with their personal records. He really cared about them individually…his expertise in all of the events is pretty hard to replace.”
Hartmann is still letting the application pool work itself out before going through the hiring process. His main focus right now is filling the fall positions so kids have an idea of who will be leading them in only a couple months.
Finding replacements for the varsity positions is just the beginning when it comes to the coaching vacancies that have to be filled. Hartmann said there are more than 20 openings right now from the middle school through the high school ranks.
“It’s a moving target,” he said. “There are a lot of changes that take place. I’m trying to let the dust settle before really focusing in and getting it done. We typically have 35-40 openings, so this is really less. This is not unusual.”
His priority when filling all those positions is finding the right person to lead their respective program.
“What our experience has been is it’s not like there are a lot of people standing in line,” Hartmann said. “They need flexibility to be available to get to practice and events. We’re trying to get the best people we can to put in front of kids…I think if we allow ourselves the time, we’ll find the best people.”