Q&A with Sean Kangraga
This season, Sean Kangrga, the Director of Tennis at Wooddale Tennis and Health Club in Woodbury, took over as the Park girls tennis head coach for longtime head coach Cris Glade.
Kangrga, who joined Wooddale in 2008 after being the Winona State University men's tennis head coach from 2001 to 2006 and the head women's coach at Winona State from 2002 to 2006.
As a player, Kangrga was an All-Conference singles and doubles player at Winona State between the years of 1998 and 2001 and was also the head boys and girls tennis coach at Winona Cotter from 2001 to 2004.
We sat down with the Wolfpack's new leader to find out more about him on and off the court.
What's your background in the sport you're coaching?
Winona Cotter JV (99-2000), Winona Cotter boys and girls Varsity (2001-2005), Winona State University head men's tennis coach (2001-2006), Winona State University women's tennis coach (2005 and 2006)
Where are you from?
What are your high school and college alma maters?
Orono High School, Francis Marion University (1997-98) and Winona State University (1998-2000)
What specific coaches do you look up to?
I look up to Brad Gilbert (tennis coach) because of his abilities to get the most of his players and getting them to buy into the fact of making a lot of balls and learning to win ugly (which is the title of his book).
What are your goals with the program?
Getting to be competitive in the conference and building solid numbers starting with the middle school age.
What's your favorite sports memory?
Winning the 2009 adult USTA 4.5 national championship in Las Vegas.
What do you like to do off the field?
I stay on the court at my full-time job developing adults and junior tennis players. I love it. Outside of tennis I enjoy football and spending time with my wife Beth and our 1-year old son Liam.
What's your favorite TV show ?
"The Office", because of the humor and Michael Scott would be a dream boss.
What are your favorite sports team? (besides your own)
The Minnesota Vikings (though it's kind of tough to admit right now). Football is my favorite sport to watch.
Who's your favorite athlete?
Rafael Nadal, because he does it right. He works his butt off and is the best at tennis right now, but is a great sport and classy individual. He is a great role model for young athletes.
What advice do you have for young players?
Stay positive and focus on improving a little each day. Success does not come by talking about it or overnight.