The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 15, 2008

Mankato East lands head football coach

Frisell leaves Bloomington Kennedy to become Cougar

MANKATO — Dave Frisell was looking for a smaller community to raise his family and a better chance to have success on the football field. At Mankato East, Frisell feels like he’s found both.

“My family and I love the community,” Frisell said Thursday after being hired to be the next football coach and a physical-education teacher at East. “We were looking for a smaller town and a place for our kids to grow up, and Mankato is a great place.”

Frisell, 42, spent the last three years at Bloomington Kennedy, posting a 1-9 record in his first season, 3-7 in his second and 6-3 last season.

“The football situation is much more stable (at East) than Kennedy,” he said. “Competing in the Lake Conference is tough, and the facilities and demographics at Kennedy are not the same (as the rest of the conference), which makes it pretty tough.

“I’m excited getting to a place where the playing field is more level. If we have a good ballclub, we have a great chance to do well in the section and get to state. We have a chance to do well in the (Big Nine Conference.)”

Frisell began his coaching and teaching career at St. Francis from 1994-2003, then followed a dream of living in a warm-weather climate by moving to Arizona for two years.

“We did not like it there at all,” he said.

He coached one year in Washington state before moving back to Minnesota and landing at Kennedy.

Frisell was one of six candidates for the East job.

“Dave did a terrific job in the interview process,” East activities director Todd Waterbury said. “He has great experience as a head coach.”

Frisell said he prefers a balanced offense of multiple formations, which will be something of a transition from the Cougars’ dominant rushing teams of the past. He said that at Kennedy, last season’s quarterback finished his career with more than 6,000 yards passing with a receiver that caught 173 passes.

Defensively, he wants to be aggressive.

“Our kids will play hard,” he said.

Frisell said he will be in town this weekend, looking for a house.

He hopes to move to Mankato as soon as possible to coordinate summer weight training and workouts.

Frisell and his wife Kim, have three kids: Quinn, 12; Abby, 10; and Jenna, 8.

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