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Prep football: Falcons hire Blom as new head coach

Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City reached into its recent past to address the future of its football program.

Former ACGC player and current assistant coach David Blom was named head coach of the Falcons, succeeding retiring coach Terry Karlsgodt.

Blom was recommended for the job by a coaching search committee and the ACGC school board approved his contract this week.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Blom, 30, who has coached the Falcons’ eighth-grade and seventh-grade football teams the last eight years. “One thing, as a football player, is that you want to coach. Everyone wants to coach the Vikings, but to be able to do it at your hometown high school, it’s hard to explain how you feel.”

Blom said he expects a smooth transition, despite stepping into the shoes of a 39-year coaching veteran like Karlsgodt.

Karlsgodt announced his retirement earlier this month after compiling a 246-137 record, winning the 2001 Class AA state championship and taking three other teams to the state tournament.

But the core of Karlsgodt’s staff is expected to stay on with Blom, including long-time assistants Doug Torgerson (42 years), Jeff Tanner (36 years) and Mike Maurer (29 years).

“I’m about 30 years younger than everybody else (on the staff),” Blom said with a laugh. “We’ll meet in the next couple of weeks to see how to move ahead but we’re not going to reinvent the wheel. This has been a good program for a long time and we’ll evolve to whatever (players) we have coming in.”

The program will be in capable hands under Blom and the returning staff, Karlsgodt said.

“He’s got a lot of potential,” Karlsgodt said. “He’s had the opportunity to play at all kinds of levels and he’s helped us at all levels. He relates really well to kids and he brings a lot of dedication. He makes the kids work hard and they like him for it. That’s a good combination.”

Blom played on the Falcons’ 2001 team and twice led the Tribune area in rushing, with 1,388 yards in 2000 and 2,417 yards during the Falcons’ championship season.

He played at Ridgewater College and for the semi-pro Mustangs in Alexandria and Willmar.

Blom began coaching at ACGC during his playing days and he also said working alongside Karlsgodt and the ACGC staff has been educational.

“I feel like I’ve been able to eavesdrop on Terry for the last six, seven years,” Blom said. “A lot of the stuff will be the same stuff. Players know they will all be treated the same and that rules apply. It’s black and white. I think it will be a positive.”

Blom likely will bring in some new ideas and has already imprinted his work ethic on the team, starting with preseason conditioning, Karlsgodt said, adding that stability will be the new coach’s primary asset.

“Kids will be coming in with many of the things already in place,” Karlsgodt said. “I’m sure David will have some new wrinkles offensively. There also will be a lot of stability. There’s a lot of loyalty within the communities with David. He’ll have a lot of support that way.”

And Blom won’t hesitate to use his own experiences as teaching tools, noting that younger players he’s coached often ask him about the 2001 season.

“I’ll paint the picture of what it took to be a state tournament team,” Blom said. “I hope they buy into what we’re trying to do.”

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

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