Mike Traphagen named new activities coordinatorWORTHINGTON — With 24 years of multi-sport coaching experience in District 518, it would be hard to find anyone who knows the ins and outs of Worthington athletics better than Mike Traphagen.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — With 24 years of multi-sport coaching experience in District 518, it would be hard to find anyone who knows the ins and outs of Worthington athletics better than Mike Traphagen.
And it’s a good thing, too, because he has been named as the district’s new activities coordinator.
“We felt Mike’s experience and knowledge of the district and years of dedication to the program were important in selecting him,” said Worthington High School Principal Paul Karelis.
Traphagen has actually served in a similar position before, as the district’s part-time athletic director from 1999-2001.
“When I did it before I enjoyed it, but I was teaching for half a day, and I was coaching two sports, and that was too much to be doing. I wanted to keep coaching and teaching, so I returned to teaching full time,” he explained. “When they made the position more full-time activities director, that interested me more.”
He currently teaches health and physical education classes at Worthington Middle School and coaches cross country, track and ninth grade basketball at Worthington High School.
In his new role as activities coordinator, Traphagen will oversee athletics and other extracurricular activities at both the high school and middle school level, which he sees as a benefit.
“In the past, the middle school activities director has been our assistant principal,” he said.
“(Now) it’s one person doing that entire job. And I think that will bring continuity to all of our extracurricular activities.”
Traphagen will spend about 75 percent of his time doing tasks related to his role as activities coordinator, while the remainder will likely be spent teaching classes at either the middle school or high school.
He will no longer coach, but said his coaching experience should serve him well in the new position.
“I’ve coached for 30 years; I think I have a pretty good background to draw from. And I had a lot of good mentor coaches that I learned from,” he said. “With the position being … that I don’t have to teach quite as much, that’ll give me more time to do things like (professional development of coaches). Part of that is just drawing on the veteran coaches that you have in the school district.”
Traphagen was himself a Worthington High School graduate, later attending then-Worthington Community College and St. Cloud State University. He replaces Don Kuiper, who served as the part-time activities coordinator before he resigned this year.
The three other finalists for the position were “probably some of the best-qualified people we’ve ever interviewed,” Karelis said, but, “Mike stood out among the group and it was more or less a unanimous decision that he would fulfill the needs of the position. … He’s a great person and one that always seems to put kids first.”