Area Girls Basketball: Swanhorst resigns as C-I's girls BB coach
One of the first orders of business for new Crosby-Ironton activities director Jared Matson will be finding a new head girls basketball coach. Monday Randy Swanhorst resigned from his position after 17 seasons. Swanhorst, whose team finished the ...
One of the first orders of business for new Crosby-Ironton activities director Jared Matson will be finding a new head girls basketball coach.
Monday Randy Swanhorst resigned from his position after 17 seasons. Swanhorst, whose team finished the 2015-16 season with a 14-13 overall record, said he was told the school district wanted to go in a different direction, but instead he decided to resign.
"I did have an email, on Saturday it was sent," said Swanhorst. "We had our (Ranger girls basketball) camp awards ceremony at noon on Saturday and I saw that the email was sent at 1:43 of that day. I didn't get it until Father's Day from (C-I superintendent) Jamie Skjeveland.
"What he told me was this was a courtesy and kind of heads up, but that they were going to advertise for a new coach for varsity girls basketball. So I said, it didn't surprise me and it is something that I realized could happen at anytime. I'm certainly not immune to it because I know nobody is. But I always wanted to go out on my own terms. I didn't feel that this would happen, but the one thing I always said is that if I don't have full support from the powers that be I'm not going to do this job.
"I told Jamie, I'm going to make this easy on you. I'm going to have a letter of resignation to you in a couple of hours. I'm not going to fight, beg or ask when I don't have full support of the very people I need it from. Coaching is not a job to be sticking your neck out on."
When asked about the Swanhorst situation Monday, Skjeveland said Swanhorst resigned and that there was "nothing nefarious going on." When asked if Swanhorst was asked to resign, Skjeveland said no.
"He had many many wins and was just one of the great coaches who has served the Crosby-Ironton School District," said Skjeveland.
Swanhorst led the C-I girls to the program's only state tournament appearance in 2004. He coached in four section finals and had six seasons of 18 or more wins.
Swanhorst scheduled a walkthrough at 11 a.m. Monday before taking the junior varsity team to a tournament in St. Cloud. Instead of a walkthrough, Swanhorst had a sit down and told the girls he would no longer be their coach.
"I had a tough day (Monday) like 23 years ago when I told my players at Lyle that I accepted a position at Crosby-Ironton," said Swanhorst. "That was one of the toughest things that I've done in my life. This was right up there talking to the kids (Monday).
"It's been a whirlwind. It was really tough telling the girls. There were tears. There was anger. There was a lot of different emotions there. The beautiful thing was, was they were concerned about the summer."
Swanhorst said he asked Skjeveland why the activities committee-which is made up of Skjeveland and board members Tom Nixon, Maurice Slepica and Mike Domin and the district's activities director-felt the need for change, the answer was numbers.
"What Jamie (Skjeveland) told me when I asked him, because this blindsided me, I can't think of a board member who has it in for me or that doesn't support me actually, he said it was numbers," Swanhorst said. "He said they needed to go in a different direction because the numbers precipitated it."
There are currently 23 head girls basketball positions open in Minnesota along with 17 boys head coaching positions open. There has already been 17 new hires for girls basketball positions this offseason.
"All I know, one of the criteria we were looking at was numbers and with girls basketball the numbers were low," said Domin. "I know Jamie did have a conversation with Randy (Swanhorst) and what that was I don't know. Jamie just let me know that Randy had turned in his resignation on Monday."
Domin said the activities committee, was working on creating a template or criteria to measure each sports program, but former activities director Tim Tungseth left following the school year to take the activities director position at Maple Lake. Domin said the template wasn't completed and that the committee will work with new AD Matson to finish that work.
Swanhorst's resignation will likely be accepted at the June 27 school board meeting. The position opening will be published quickly, said Skjeveland.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or email@example.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .