It's a tough obstacle to follow a coach, who has left his mark on many players, assistant coaches, parents and fans associated with a program. However, Wadena-Deer Creek Activities Director Norm Gallant believes they have the right person for the job. It was recently announced at the Wadena-Deer Creek School board meeting that Kyle Petermeier has been named the new head football coach of the Wolverines. Petermeier will take over the job vacated by Howie Kangas, who announced his retirement at the end of the season.
"We are really excited to get Kyle. He did an exceptional job with our junior high and got kids really excited," Gallant said. "We went through the process and really liked what we heard from Kyle. We liked what we saw last year and we think he set himself apart with that junior high role and we know he has a solid background, too."
Gallant said there was a fair amount of interest in the position and was happy with the applications and the interest the school received in the position.
Gallant said he brings energy and a positive aura about him. Gallant was quick to say he has the PJ Fleck style of energy.
"You get around him and you get excited," Gallant said. "That's what I saw with our seventh and eighth graders and that's what I see in the classroom. I think he is a guy that can get people excited about football and get our kids in the weight room. Those are the things that really stand out about him."
Petermeier said it is exciting and he is ready to get going. He said the staff in place are really good and he hopes to keep building on what Kangas has built up.
"He has been building it with some good players. They have had some good success the last couple of years and hopefully we can just build on that," Petermeier said. "I'm very excited."
Petermeier grew up in Browerville and went to college at the University of Minnesota-Morris, where he obtained a degree in elementary education and played football. He taught fifth grade in Chokio-Alberta and coached at Morris, before moving to Wadena.
Petermeier said fans can expect to see a positive guy, who is always excited and trying to lift people up. Petermeier said his time helping coach the seventh-and eighth-grade team with Wadena-DC helped integrate him into the community and with the schools.
"I think coaching seventh and eighth grade helped me get to know the kids and see what we have coming up," Petermeier said. "Seeing how they do things and how they work, I thought, it was a successful season. Record wise we were okay, but we had a lot of kids out for football and hopefully we can keep those kids out and continue to grow the numbers. I think getting to know the kids was a big step and helped me feel confident for the next couple of years."
Petermeier said he hopes to get the kids that came out to play in junior high to stay out and hopes that people who are on the fringe of playing, come out and try the sport to grow the numbers and the program. He said another step would be to get the kids into the weightroom.
Petermeier follows in a long line of coaches. His father is the head coach of Browerville and grew up around the game of football. He said coaching is in his blood.
"I have a lot of people who (in my family) have been coached in that aspect. There were pretty much two seasons in my house--there was football season and not football season," Petermeier said. "That's been a big thing and I would say it's in my blood, definitely."