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BOYS HOCKEY: Monsrud resigns as BHS head coach (updated)

BEMIDJI -- Eric Monsrud resigned Tuesday afternoon as head coach of the Bemidji High School boys hockey team.

“It kind of just came down to family really in the end,” Monsrud said regarding why he made the decision. “... It kind of was in the back of my mind throughout the season how much I could handle this and keep dealing with the grind.”

Eric Monsrud

Not being able to spend more time supporting his daughter Molly, an eighth grader on the BHS dance team, was an important factor in his decision, Monsrud said.

“I’m looking at all these dance dads walking around and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Well, my daughter doesn’t have that,’” the former Bemidji State forward said, “because I’m never home. I’m always gone coaching hockey. I just kind of made that decision, and it was validated by my daughter when I told her that I was thinking about doing this.

“I’m going to step down while I’m still young enough to do it, and raise my child, and hang with my family and do things in the winter time, which I’ve never been able to do before because I’ve always done something hockey-wise every winter.”

Monsrud said it was a difficult decision.

“I have such a passion for the game,” he said. “I care about the boys that I coach and that I’m around. And I care about my coaching staff, and the support from the school and all that. There’s a lot of people out there that I’m going to miss.”

Monsrud succeeded Wade Chiodo as head coach prior to the 2017-18 season. He had spent six prior seasons as an assistant coach.

The Lumberjacks went 18-32-1 in his two seasons as head coach, including 8-16-1 in the 2018-19 season. Bemidji’s season came to an end last week with a 4-3 loss at Brainerd in the Section 8AA quarterfinals.

“It’s not a goodbye, it’s just a ‘Hey, I’ll be around and I’ll see you later,’” Monsrud said. “I’m still going to support players that need support, and those other things. It’s just the time commitment -- it’s just too much and it’s just too great. It’s something I just need to step back from. Somebody else can take over and give it a shot.”

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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