WILLMAR — Two of Willmar High School's varsity head coaches have announced they won't be returning next season.

Traci Grussing, who led the Cardinals to a Central Lakes Conference volleyball championship in the fall, and head boys basketball coach Matt Williams have tendered their resignations.

"Yes, I've resigned again," Grussing quipped.

Grussing tendered her resignation two years ago when her daughter Esther began playing volleyball at Division I Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. When a replacement wasn't found, she agreed to return.

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She had been Willmar's head coach since 2011. Before that, she coached at Central Minnesota Christian for 15 years, leading the Bluejays to nine state tournaments and three state titles.

The desire to see Esther, her youngest daughter, more often was the deciding factor, Grussing said.

"She very much likes having people there," said Grussing, who has made the 11-hour drive from Willmar several times and also flown into Chicago and then driven a rental car to Muncie as well.

"Traci is one of the finest coaches in the state and her leadership and mentorship will be tough to replace," the Willmar Athletics Twitter account @cardsathletics and run by activities director Ryan Blahosky, stated in a Tweet. "Thanks Coach Grussing."

Williams led the Cardinals to a 7-13 record in 2021, including 5-11 in the CLC. A 1999 Willmar High School graduate, Williams has been a part of the program since graduating from Northwestern College of Orange City, Iowa.

"When I got out of college, my first year I coached seventh- and eight-grade girls basketball," Williams said. "It's been an awesome ride.

Williams has been head coach six years and an assistant at all levels before that, totaling 18 years with the Cardinals.

"Matt is an exceptional leader and his legacy will be one of a fantastic coach and even better person and mentor," it was tweeted. "Thanks Coach Williams."

Williams said a desire to spend more time with his family — he has daughters ages 8 and 10 — and seeking a better work/personal life balance led him to make the decision to resign.

"It's been an awesome ride," he said. "I'm excited for what others are going to be able to do with the program in the future."

He said Dale Becker, a long-time assistant in the program, also is resigning after 25 years.

"I'd ask for one favor if possible," Williams said. "I really want to give out a huge thank you to my staff. They're absolutely the best."

That includes sophomore coach Jeff Holtcamp, volunteer assistant Mike Buer, ninth-grade coach David Runia and Levi Gotto.

"It's unbelievable staff to work with," Williams said.

Williams will remain an English teacher at Willmar High School.