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Kuemmel's Corner: Park to hire four new coaches in next two months

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sports Cottage Grove, 55016
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Besides the usual day-to-day work, I will be very busy in the next two months hiring coaches.

I will be hiring (in this order) a new cheerleading, boys basketball, gymnastics, and dance team coach to lead the Wolfpack. We put a lot of time and effort into this hiring process, because I believe it is one of the most important aspects of my job.

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I have had the opportunity to hire almost every one of our head coaches currently on staff at Park. I try to treat every selection and interview process the same. The building principal Mr. Timmerman and I read through the applicants’ resumes and reduce the number of candidates we will interview to four or five. I then form an interview committee. The committee usually consists of the building principal or a designee, me, a parent or representative from the booster club, another member of the Park coaching staff, a representative from Community Education, and a representative from CGAA (for the sports that CGAA offers). I feel that a new head coach coming into the building must have a positive working relationship with each of the groups represented at that interview table. After interviewing all of the candidates, the committee makes a recommendation to Mr. Timmerman and me. Of the four or five candidates that we interviewed, we like the committee to narrow it down to their top two (or maybe three) choices. We make it clear that everyone on the committee must feel comfortable with any of the candidates that we move on. If needed, the principal and I will conduct a second interview. After making calls to check references, we are then ready to make our final decision on the best fit for Park High School.

I have had many people ask me if we have a district policy that states we must hire teachers as our head coaches. The answer to this question is no. Of the 20 or so head coaches I have hired at Park, about half are teachers in the district. There are a lot of advantages to having a teacher as a coach in a high school building (probably too many to mention here — that may be another column some day). But the bottom line is we are dedicated to hiring the absolute best coaches possible, regardless of what they do for their “day job.” This process has helped us find many of the great coaches we have at Park.

-Phil Kuemmel, Park High School Activities Director

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