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Teigland, Academy Force agree to part ways

Gene Teigland stepped down as Academy Force's head football coach. RiverTown Multimedia file photo

There will be more change for the Academy Force football team next season.

Head coach Gene Teigland and the Academy Force football cooperative team agreed to part ways after the end of this fall's season. Teigland coached the New Life Academy football team for three years before the school teamed up to start the Academy Force program this fall. The Academy Force football program is a cooperative team with Bethany Academy, New Life Academy of Woodbury, Mounds Park Academy, Twin Cities Academy High School, St. Croix Preparatory Academy and Liberty Classical Academy.

Teigland said a lack of numbers for the program was a significant factor in his decision to move on. Low participation for the New Life Academy football team was a driving factor in forming the Academy Force program this fall.

"It just felt like we needed a push to try to make that happen," Teigland said about the program's numbers. "I love the guys I worked with, I really wanted to stay a long time."

Previously, Teigland was an assistant coach at Becker before becoming the head coach at New Life Academy. New Life Academy won two games in Teigland's first year, 2014, but improved to four wins in 2015 and six in 2016. New Life Academy advanced to the Class 4A, Section 3 championship game in 2016.

This year, he had the opportunity to coach two sons, senior wide receiver Matt Teigland and Ben Teigland, a freshman quarterback.

"I came here to build a program, and I felt like we had done that to some success," Teigland said. "But we just had a really hard time the past couple of years."

The lack of numbers caught up to Academy Force in 2017. The program finished 1-8 on the season.

"This year was tough because we had a lot of young guys," Teigland said.

Teigland hopes to get back into coaching sometime again in the future.

"I'm hoping that somewhere there will be an opportunity," Teigland said. "We'll just kind of see what happens. It's all kind of up in the air."

New Life Academy Athletic Director Kevin Kleiner said the Academy Force football program is still working to figure out the long-term prospects of the program with low numbers expected again for next season. Kleiner said it would be ideal for the program's next head coach to be a teacher at one of the team's main schools, New Life Academy, St. Croix Prep and Mounds Park Academy.

"Obviously, we're super grateful and thankful for everything that he did," Kleiner said about Teigland. "In four years he poured himself into it. We're super thankful. He did a lot of great things."