Year in Review 2011: Tressel hangs it up after 50 years of coachingAfter 50 years of coaching in the state of Minnesota, Hank Tressel hung it up in 2011.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
After 50 years of coaching in the state of Minnesota, Hank Tressel hung it up in 2011.
Most recently the head coach of the Park boys golf team, Tressel, 76, was the only coach of a boys team in Park’s history to win a state championship. In 2008, he led the Wolfpack to the Class AAA state title.
“The reason we’ve had success is because Cottage Grove built a golf course (River Oaks) and there was a dome and the kids played day after day after day,” Tressel said following announcing his retirement. “The kids played in the MGA and PGA juniors in the summer and that paid off. My job was to just not screw it up.”
Tressel, originally from Edina, started his teaching and coaching career in Faribault in 1960 at the St. James School for Boys and Shattuck Junior School, where he coached football and hockey. After a year of teaching in Arlington-Green Isle (where he did not coach), Tressel joined District 833 in 1964 as a social studies and physical education teacher.
He began coaching football in the fall, hockey in the winter and track in the spring at St. Paul Park Junior High School. Tressel was also the district’s first ski coach. Former Activities Director Norm Larson asked him to start the ski program. At that time, Park had a boys and girls alpine team, a boys and girls cross country team and even a ski jumping team that competed at Harrington Hill. Over the years, Tressel has been involved in many different sports in the district. He has coached football, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, ski jumping, softball, baseball, girls golf and boys golf at the varsity level and hockey, basketball, football and track at the junior high level. Tressel retired from teaching in 1998, but continued his coaching career.
Tressel said winning the state championship was the greatest moment of his 50-year coaching career.
“I’m going to miss watching people go through the good and the bad and become men on the golf course,” Tressel said. “The kids learn respect for themselves, each other and their fellow competitors on the course – that’s golf.”