Coaching changes galore at SAVHS

Player turnover is usually the reason fans of a team consult a roster when watching their favorite team. This year, fans of the teams at St. Anthony Village High School athletic squads might need a list to keep up with all the new coaches.

Three different St. Anthony teams and two Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village co-op teams will feature new varsity head coaches in the 2013-14 school year.

The most notable coaching change at St. Anthony is probably the boys basketball job. Dave Bratland stepped down as the Huskies’ head coach after 18 seasons.

Stepping in to replace Bratland is Chris Hergenrader, a Nebraska native who is new to coaching at St. Anthony but not new in teaching ranks there. Hergenrader taught for four years in St. Anthony before leaving last year to help start an alternative school in Shakopee for troubled youth. He served as the dean of students at the new school.

Originally from Homer, Neb., Hergenrader’s high school basketball team advanced to the state semifinals his senior year and he was all-state honorable mention. He also played football and was all-state and academic all-state.

After high school, Hergenrader accepted a football scholarship to Iowa State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in animal science and a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He worked as a veterinarian for 12 years before going into education.

Hergenrader is currently working on his doctorate in education at Bethel University and previously completed his masters of arts in teaching at Hamline University. In addition to coaching, Hergenrader will also teach biology at St. Antony.

Hergenrader and his wife Jill have four children and live in St. Anthony Village.

The other two St. Anthony-only teams with new head coaches this year are both fall-sports squads.

Lori Johnson replaces Celine Kronback as the Huskies’ girls tennis coach. Johnson spent the last four seasons as the varsity assistant and junior varsity head coach under Kronback.

Johnson played prep tennis and also played collegiately at Wheaton College in Illinois. Her coaching experience includes stints as the assistant men’s and women’s coach at Northwestern College in Roseville and as an instructor in the city of Eden Prairie’s parks and recreation department.

While at Wheaton, Johnson earned a degree in elementary education and these days is an elementary school teacher and a supervising professor for student teachers. She and her husband Greg have one child and live in Plymouth.

St. Anthony also has a new volleyball coach. Eric Trygstad replaces Kari Francis and brings five years of varsity head coaching experience to the position. He coached five seasons at Canton High School in Canton, S.D.

The year before Trygstad started, Canton’s volleyball team went 3-23 and hadn’t posted a winning record in more than 10 seasons. In his second year, Canton finished above .500.

Originally from Albert Lea, Minn., Trygstad attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. He and his wife Jess have two daughters.

Two Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village co-op teams also have new head coaches.

Ryan Manning takes over as the SLP/SAV boys soccer coach, replacing Jake Smothers. Manning attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he helped found the school’s men’s soccer club team. While in college, Manning trained for three months with the Dallas Burn of Major League Soccer.

His coaching experience includes five years as an assistant girls varsity coach at Stillwater Area High School and four as an assistant boys varsity coach at White Bear Lake Area High School. He has coached various club soccer teams since 1994 and has also served as the goalkeeper trainer for the Minnesota State Youth Soccer Association.

Also new is the SLP/SAV girls hockey coach. Sandy Nelson, a 2007 Spring Lake Park High School graduate, replaces longtime head coach Tom Kulenkamp.

Nelson was a mainstay on the Panthers’ roster before graduating and playing four years of Division I college hockey at Ohio State University. She graduated from OSU in 2011 with a degree in human ecology.

Brian Meyers can be reached at

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