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Royal Raptors head coach, Anderson, steps down

Citing conflicts with her full-time job, Stacy Anderson, head coach of the East Ridge-Woodbury girls hockey team this past year, stepped down this past week, leaving all three District 833 high schools -- East Ridge, Park and Woodbury -- looking for girls hockey coaches.

Anderson is the Girls Membership Program Director for FHIT -- a hockey development and advancement company, based in Mendota Heights.

"I love my job," Anderson said. "I'm working with the top girls in the state on a year-round membership program. I loved both jobs, but when I had to choose, I had to take the full-time job that provides me with a salary and benefits. As hard as it was, it was a choice that had to be made."

Anderson said her company and her program are growing quicker than she expected.

"My program is getting bigger and bigger," Anderson said. "Next year, if the program gets to where I need it to get to, I won't be able to dedicate the time I did this year. I didn't see it happening this quickly, but it did."

Earlier this month, in a surprise decision, the South Washington County girls hockey team, a co-operative effort between Woodbury and East Ridge high schools, was broken up after just one season. Anderson, who was slated to continue as the Woodbury head coach, said she would have preferred the team remain a co-op, but said it had nothing to do with her decision.

"The decision to not coach had nothing to do with that decision," Anderson said. "Even if we were a co-op it wouldn't have worked for me. It's unfortunate for the girls -- I strongly believe from a development side of both of these programs it's very unfortunate for the girls. But, that had nothing to do with why I had to step down."

None-the-less, the split created a job opening at East Ridge. Prior to the East Ridge-Woodbury separation, Park's head coach, Darren Reiter, resigned due to health reasons.

"It's three programs with a lot of potential," Anderson said. "I hope nothing but the best for all three programs, and really just any girls hockey program. I think Minnesota hockey is phenomenal. I don't know if these girls realize how fortunate they are to play high school hockey in Minnesota -- it's quite a special thing. I hope the best for every kid doing it."

Woodbury Activities Director Jason Schultz said Anderson's resignation came as a surprise.

"I'm disappointed that we're losing a coach who had a lot of potential to really grow a program," Schultz said. "I'm convinced we're going to find a highly-qualified candidate, but, it's definitely not something I would have chosen to happen at this point.

Anderson informed Schultz on Friday, March 19, and addressed the team on Sunday, March 21. The job opening was posted on Monday, March 22 and will be up for at least two weeks, before formal interviews begin.

Schultz said he would work as quickly as possible to find the right person, but that there is no concrete timeline.

"Right now every school in the district is looking for a girls hockey coach," Schultz said. "Time is of the essence. We will be actively recruiting and looking for highly-qualified candidates to fill the position. There are a lot of things that happen in the off-season. We want a leader in position to make those happen."

See the full story in the March 31 issue of the Bulletin

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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