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East Ridge boys hockey: Long resigns as head coach

East Ridge boys hockey coach Doug Long resigned from his position following the season after leading the program since its inception.

Long coached the Raptors for five years and amassed a 46-80-7 record in that time. East Ridge set a school record for wins two years ago with a 14-11-2 record and reached the Section 3AA semifinals where the Raptors lost 5-2 against Eagan.

Long’s previous coaching stops included five years as an assistant at White Bear Lake immediately preceding his tenure at East Ridge. Prior to White Bear Lake, Long served as head coach of the Stillwater boys hockey team for seven years and one year as the girls hockey head coach.

“Hockey has been a part of every winter since I was 5 years old,” Long said. “This will be the first time I won’t be a coach or a player.”

Long told his coaching staff in January about his intention to resign at the end of the season due to an increased workload in his teaching duties. Long, who teaches biology and human anatomy at Stillwater Area High School, accepted a teaching position last fall at the University of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul.

Between the commutes, additional time commitments and missing time with family, it became too much at once, Long said.

“Doug worked hard to lay the ground work for the program five years ago and we want to thank him for his service to the students, community and East Ridge High School,” East Ridge Activities Director Jon Hinzman said in an email. “Coach Long was dedicated to the students and was a coach that cared each player on his team.”

As Long took on teaching an additional course his wife began work on her doctorate.

“Now it’s time for me to free her up to pursue that and I want to take any extra duties off her plate,” Long said.

Long admitted it will be difficult to walk away from an active role in hockey, but plans on becoming a referee with his son, who is a ninth-grader at Stillwater.

Long anticipates his assistant coaches will remain with the program and perhaps will apply for the head coach position.

-Nick Gerhardt