Two longtime MN high school football coaches step down


For all of us who love high school
football like me this is a bittersweet day to Minnesota football coaching
legends have decided to step down Jeff Ferguson after 18 years at Totino
grace 42 years in the business has decided to retire he won eight state
championships for the Eagles and Ron stole ski the Dean of Minnesota high
school football coaches after 58 years of coaching in Minnesota most all of it
at Brainerd High School has decided to step down
I talked to Ron this afternoon he said the move today was tough emotional very
much so but he said to me it just felt like it was time two years ago I did
this story on Ron stole ski and I thought it would be special to show that
again tonight I think football is one of the great metaphors for life you learn
to give of yourself you learn to care about others okay I get up Ron stole ski
is everything that’s right with football last one the Dean of Minnesota coaches
starts his 56th season this fall the last 42 at Brainerd high school his take
on the game and his role here now is refreshing not bad I think a coach
really gets his you know earns his wings if you will when he understands it’s not
about him were you at school the sooner that happens to you in coaching the
better coach you are it’s about two kids and he defends the game despite some
negative press lately saying Minnesota high school football is that safe as
it’s ever been the games we’ve made in equipment the games that have made in
how we practice the gains that have been made in safe play duration and so on we
need to do as good a job of saying these are the benefits
to as many as week and then you create disciples who say you know my son played
stall ski has certainly done that at Brainerd run with your eyes where Ron is
now coaching the grandchildren of former players yes he’s been in the game that
lawn and even though he’s very good at the X’s and O’s it’s the way Ron
connects that sets him apart I’m gonna be a giver and that’s one of the things
ron talks to the kids all about especially towards the end of season be
a giver you meet a former player on the street or maybe at some event in the
Twin Cities and they reach out their hand and they say coach sometimes not
nearly often enough you have a chance to be a part of something greater than
yourself and it begins with the belief that we can boom keeps you going you
know you can be a player hey Ron stolfsky is an English teacher by trade
and few can express in words the way Ron can conclude this today on the night
before his first ever practice at Brainerd in 1975 he wrote down what was
in his heart and so it begins years ago they came from farm fields and
two-story houses lights twinkling in the morning quiet ruddy-faced boys with
badges on their pants and sunburned faces when they got there I was waiting
hoping to do them a bit of good now many many many games later they still come
and when they get here I’ll be waiting it will be that way a fear as long as
their lights in the morning quiet and breath of my soul watch them right there
because that’s how I felt still feel like that yeah

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