Meet Mike Traphagen, a pillar behind the scenes for B-E athletics and a key fixture in high school track
Traphagen is active in maintaining Brandon-Evansville athletic fields along with working many track meets in western and southern Minnesota.
Mike Traphagen does a lot of different things for the Brandon-Evansville school district since moving up in the area after retiring as the athletic director at Worthington High School in 2015.
Traphagen was the and moved north to be closer to family.
With B-E, he’s a jack of all trades, working on field preparation at the football and softball fields in Brandon and the baseball field in Evansville, along with doing the scoreboard at basketball games and doing a little bit of substitute teaching.
To put it quite simply, Traphagen has enjoyed being involved in the Alexandria area and being around his children and grandchildren.
“Number one, we (him and his wife Patty), enjoy being around our children and their families,” Mike said. “We have six grandchildren up here. So you know that's really nice. So we've when we lived in Worthington, we vacationed up here at different resorts and lakes up here, and we really enjoyed the area. I thought that when I retired, that would be this would be a nice place to relocate, relocate to because of the lakes area. There's lots to do up here, and we found that to be true as well.”
Their oldest son Kellen is an assistant football and basketball coach for B-E, while Wade is the head coach of the Alexandria adapted bowling team, and Zach is the head coach of the Minnewaska boys track and field team, and before that was a co-head coach for the Ashby-Brandon-Evansville and the girls basketball head coach at B-E.
On top of maintaining the outdoor facilities, Mike still finds a way to contribute to a sport he loves, track and field.
He’s been a high school certified track and field starter for 10 years who does 18-20 meets a year ranging from Alexandria to Worthington.
“I coached track for 28 years, and I really enjoyed the sport,” he said. “It’s a way to keep me involved in the sports. When I first got into starting, a lot of the meets I started in southwest Minnesota featured coaches I coached against, but that’s not so much the case anymore.I still enjoy it. I enjoy seeing familiar faces, and I really think there’s a shortage of officials. It’s a good thing for me to do. I look forward to track season every spring. It’s something I envision myself doing for many years yet.”
And while he’s living up here now north of Garfield, he’s still making his presence known in southwest Minnesota.
“I travel around quite a bit,” he said. “I do several meets in Luverne, Worthington, Pipestone, and some in this area. I’ve been down to Wheaton, and typically I do one or two in Alexandria. I keep very busy.”
Mike said his favorite parts of still being involved in the track community is making sure the meets are well run and seeing athletes improve.
“I like to make sure things are running smoothly and even more so than is seeing the athletes perform and improve,” he said. “I see a lot of athletes throughout the year, and I also have the opportunity to start the Section 3A track meet or at least as a track official. It’s rewarding to see them improve throughout the season, and I like getting to know the kids. I enjoy connecting with them.”