The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

April 9, 2012

Mankato East football coach Frisell resigns

MANKATO — Dave Frisell’s mother lost her husband within the last two years and is living alone, and his father-in-law has a terminal illness.

None of his children’s grandparents are able to get to Mankato from their homes in the Twin Cities so Frisell said that he had to move his family up there, announcing his resignation Monday as the football coach and physical-education teacher at Mankato East.

“It was a very tough day,” Frisell said. “It was tough to tell the kids who have been working hard to get better. It was tough to tell the coaches who have been very good to me. It was tough to tell (activities director) Todd Waterbury and (principal) Shane Baier, who have been very supportive of me.

“And I have girls who are in sixth and eighth grade, and it was tough to tell them. They don’t see the big picture, and it’s scary for them to make new friends. It’s scary for me, too. I really thought this was the place for us, but the grandparents are missing them growing up and it’s too far for them to travel.”

Frisell, 46, will take a coaching job at Robbinsdale Armstrong in the fall. In four seasons at East, Frisell was 10-26, 8-20 in Big Nine Conference games. His teams were 0-4 in the playoffs.

Last season, East was 3-6, 3-4 in conference games. Frisell’s son Quinn, a sophomore, was the starting quarterback.

Prior to coaching at East, he was the head coach at Bloomington Kennedy for three seasons, and he coached at St. Francis from 1994-2003.

East junior linebacker Lincoln Benzkofer said that when he talked with Frisell at the end of last season, he was pretty sure that Frisell would be the coach again next season. He was shocked Monday when Frisell told the players that he was resigning.

“I didn’t see it coming,” the all-conference linebacker said. “I had heard before last season that he was looking around (for another job), but that was just rumors. I like coach so I was kind of angry and kind of sad (today).”

Junior lineman Drew Quame said he also was surprised by the announcement, but he thinks the program will continue to improve.

“We’ve had a lot of kids lifting already,” he said. “We should be pretty solid next year.”

Waterbury said that Frisell had been telling him that he was looking for another job so he wouldn’t be surprised.

“I think the staff had a pretty good idea, too,” Waterbury said. “You have to give family your top priority.”

Waterbury said the job was posted Monday and will be open for two weeks.

“We have some internal candidates, and we’ll have a (teaching opening), too,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

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