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Jackie Robertson eager to begin her duties as Bemidji varsity girls hockey coach

Jackie Robertson has been involved with the Bemidji High School girls hockey program the past two years, serving as an assistant junior varsity coach. Robertson will continue to guide the BHS girls hockey fortunes as she has been named the varsity’s new head coach. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer File Photo

BEMIDJI — During her four years with the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team Jackie Robertson played in 144 games and developed into a team leader. That dedication and commitment was noticed by her teammates as Robertson was named a captain during her senior year.

“Jackie is a real tiger,” said BSU women’s hockey coach Steve Sertich when asked to describe his former player. “She has a high battle level. She made up for any shortcomings with her tenacity.”

Robertson brought those qualities to the Bemidji High School program as she was the assistant junior varsity coach the past two winters. And now Robertson can continue to influence Bemidji girls hockey as she has been named the Lumberjacks new varsity coach.

Robertson, who was raised in Inver Grove Heights and was a member of South St. Paul’s Class A state championship teams in 2002, 2003 and 2005, replaces Bob Brink, who stepped down after two years on the bench. Brink enjoyed his time with the Jacks but he felt that time with his family was a higher priority than spending the winter taking the long bus rides through northern and central Minnesota.

Robertson’s day job is teaching physical education at Northern Elementary and Paul Bunyan Elementary. She also instructs physical fitness classes at the Gillett Recreation and Fitness Center and is a personal fitness trainer.

Robertson doesn’t have much free time but she will have no problem adjusting her schedule to fit in the new head coaching duties.

“I’m very excited,” Robertson said Thursday. “I’m not nervous, at least not yet. There are too many things to do before I can get nervous.”

Her two years with the junior varsity program have eliminated the need for the players and coach to adapt to each other. Robertson knows the players and their abilities and the players know what to expect from their new coach.

“We lost some very good players from last year’s team but we have a good group and many good leaders coming back,” Robertson said. “Going from a junior varsity assistant to the head coach is a big jump but, like anything else, you always have to do something new for the first time.”

The official start of the girls hockey season is many months away but Robertson already is planning her preliminary work.

“There are many things that we need to do right away. I want to talk with the girls as soon as possible and I need to develop a coaching staff,” Robertson said. “We also need to implement a summer training program.

“We plan on making the summer training fun and light,” Robertson said, adding that players from the youth programs will be included in the summer training sessions. “A high school team is only part of a total program and the earlier you start players in that program the better it is.”

Robertson enjoys Bemidji and what the community has to offer. Robertson also has proven that she is committed to the girls hockey program.

“I already bought a place so I plan to be here for awhile,” she said.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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