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Athletics: S-M hires new football and wrestling coaches

Staples-Motley introduces new football and wrestling coaches

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Two new coaches became official last week at Staples-Motley.

Drew Potter takes over the Cardinal football program with Jim Jackson taking over as the head wrestling coach.

Jackson comes over from Shakopee and Apple Valley where he has tallied 16 state titles and two national titles at the high school level. He announced his retirement in 2020, but has decided to make his return to coaching at Staples-Motley starting this winter.

“We have a rich history of success with our wrestling program and having Jim come on board as our head coach is just continuing that tradition and success line,” Staples-Motley activities director Josh Lee said. “He has been such a successful high school coach and to have him come aboard here is such a privilege for not only the students, but the community as a whole.”

He spent 32 years coaching at Apple Valley and five years at Shakopee. He holds a 871-64-4 record as coach.

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“He’s been a teacher and coach the last 40 years and he was actually my middle school gym teacher,” Lee said. “Having that teacher-coach mindset to lead a program is key and his overall career makes it an easy decision for us to have him take our program to the next level.

Potter moves up from Iowa to coach the Cardinal football team. Last year, Staples-Motley finished 2-7 with wins over Wadena-Deer Creek and Pillager.

“Drew coming in he just has a vision for the overall program and the growth and potential we have there,” Lee said. “Leading not only our varsity program but also the youth and having his hands in the whole program.”

Potter has been with the team all summer and is excited about his first year in the fall.

“I think it’s exciting to develop this thing from the ground up,” Potter said. “I’m excited about the kids we have coming back in the program and I think the whole process of putting the pieces together and doing something special is why I’m in it.

“The biggest thing for me is having plans this summer and I didn’t have the chance to communicate when our break periods would be in July and August. I think that’s been the toughest part so far.”

Potter and his family are new to the area, but he has coached football in Iowa and Nebraska. The last nine years Potter was the head football coach at West Monona, Iowa.

“I’ve done my research,” the 40-year-old said. “I watched all (Staples-Motley’s) film from last year and so I have a pretty good understanding of the competition and the players that other teams have coming back and the history of Staples.”

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The goal for Potter is to match his system with the players he has.

“We want to put the kids in the best position to succeed and focus on doing things the right way,” he said. “Play smart, play hard and do everything the right way.”

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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