Saying it was time to "just be a mom", Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa volleyball coach Mimi Knutson's resignation was officially accepted at a school board meeting Monday night.
Knutson coached eight years at BBE and developed into one of the most successful coaches in the area, averaging 20 wins per season (161-67 career mark) after a pair of 28-4 campaigns in her final two seasons.
"I've been a player and I've been a coach," the personable elementary teacher said. "Now it's time to be a spectator. I loved coaching, but it's time to watch my kids play now."
Knutson and her husband, Chad, have a daughter in eighth grade and a son in fourth grade.
"I'm not used to being a cheerleader in the stands," she remarked. "I told some people if they see me yelling at the coach or the refs, they should come over and stop me."
Knutson's teams reach-ed the section championship four of the last five years, including a state tournament berth in 2005.
"I've been so fortunate having some great kids with positive attitudes and great work ethics," Knutson said.
Knutson's first team went 5-20 and she quickly built the program to a perennial power, never finishing .500 or lower after that. In her last four years, her teams went 105-18, an .854 winning percentage.
Knutson's JV coach, Trisha Voss, is also stepping down after eight seasons.
"We didn't know each other at all when we first started coaching together," said Knutson. "We just clicked right away. She was a great assistant."
Kevin Weller, who has been running the Junior Olympics program at BBE for several years, was named the new volleyball coach.
"Kevin will do a good job," said Knutson, a New London-Spicer graduate. "He knows the kids and he's been involved with the program for a while now. He's a big reason why we've had a successful program here."
Weller owns a convenience store in Belgrade.
Carlson coaching tennis at Sartell
Alex Carlson, a Litchfield native, is in his first year as the Sartell boys tennis coach.
Carlson, who won the Tribune's Hengstler-Ranweiler Award for top male athlete in the area in 2000, is a middle school physical education teacher in his third year at Sartell.
Carlson's father, John, is the head boys tennis and boys basketball coach at Litchfield.