Alumni Enjoying Coaching Success

Posted on March 16th, 2010 by

From left to right: Kelly Etzel Barnholdt '03, Carey Willis Crowell '02, Mike Schumacher '91, and Sara Boldt '06.

Mike Schumacher ’91 has spent more than 15 years coaching at the high school level in a variety of different sports including football, girls’ golf, and boys’ basketball. So when the head girls’ basketball coaching position opened up last summer at Wayzata High School, Schumacher decided to throw his name in the mix.

The veteran coach got the job and this week he will lead the Wayzata girls’ basketball team to its first ever appearance at the state tournament. When the Trojans take the court at Target Center on Wednesday, Gustavus will be well represented on the sidelines.

Schumacher and all three of his varsity assistants are Gustavus graduates. Assistant coaches Carey Willis Crowell ’02, Kelly Etzel Barnholdt ’03, and Sara Boldt ’06 all had successful basketball careers at Gustavus under current head coach Mickey Haller.

“There is such a strong bond the four of us share by being Gusties,” Crowell said. “The fact that the four of us are a part of helping the Wayzata girls’ basketball team reach its first state tournament in the history of the school is pretty unbelievable.”

All four coaches know what it means to be a part of a team with a winning tradition. Schumacher was a freshman running back on the 1987 Gustavus football team – the last Gustie football team to win an MIAC championship.

Schumacher was inducted into the Gustavus Hall of Fame in 2007. He burst onto the scene in 1987 when he led the MIAC in rushing with 873 yards and helped the Gusties to a perfect 10-0 record. He finished his four-year career as the program’s second leading rusher with 3,236 yards. His 8.3 yards per carry average in 1987 still ranks as the best single-season average in the history of MIAC football.

Crowell and Barnholdt were both members of the women’s basketball team when Haller took over as head coach in 2000. Since that time, the program has developed into a perennial contender in the MIAC and has posted an overall record of 189-77 in Haller’s ten years as coach.

The program took a huge leap forward during Crowell’s senior year in 2002 when the team posted a 20-7 overall record – the first 20-win season in the program’s history.

Then during Barnholdt’s senior year in 2003 the team went 25-4 overall and claimed a share of its first-ever MIAC regular season title with a 20-2 conference record. The team also advanced to the NCAA Tournament that season.

During Boldt’s four-year career, the women’s basketball program posted an overall record of 79-27

Barnholdt is the program’s sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,204 career points from 1999-2003. She is also fifth all time for most field goals (505), fourth all time in rebounds (690), and seventh all time for most games played (106).

Sara Boldt in a game in 2006 at Gus Young Court.

Boldt is 28th all time in scoring with 629 career points from 2002-2006. She is also 12th all time in assists (198), 13th all time in three pointers made (45), 6th all time in steals (190), and ninth all time in games played (104).

Crowell is 24th all time in scoring with 696 career points from 1998-2002. She is also 12th all time in three pointers made (48), tenth all time in steals (164), and 11th all time in games played (102).

All three women say that they often fall back on lessons learned from their coaching role models at Gustavus.

“I learned from Mickey that an open door policy is very important when coaching girls’ basketball,” Barnholdt said. “The players need to trust and respect you as a coach, and Mickey always did a great job offering that to her players. She also taught me that laughter and fun with a team helps each player be successful at practice and games, and want to work harder and get better each day.”

“I’ve had some amazing coaches throughout my basketball career and two that stick out are Mickey Haller and Aaron Kahl ’00,” Crowell said. “They always believed in me and continued to push me to the next level. I have great respect for them and have continued to look up to them.”

“I remember (current women’s assistant coach) Dan Wolfe had so much confidence in me when I first came to Gustavus,” Boldt said. “His encouragement made me believe in myself. When he would work with me individually at practice I felt special and that’s what I try to do with my players – work with them one on one. It’s more meaningful that way.”

Those lessons paid off during Wayzata’s run through the section tournament. Despite entering section play as the No. 4 seed with a modest record of 13-13, the Trojans were able to upset state powerhouses Hopkins and Minneapolis South to earn their way into this week’s state tournament.

“It just feels so good for the kids and it feels good for the school,” Schumacher said. “The kids are just so excited and it’s created quite a bit of excitement around school.”

Wayzata will play its state quarterfinal game at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17.

Johnston Back in Big Dance

Aaron Johnston '96

Aaron Johnston ’96, head coach of the South Dakota State University women’s basketball team, has led the Jackrabbits into the Division I NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

The Jackrabbits are a No. 14 seed and will face No. 3 seed Oklahoma in a first round game on Sunday, March 21 in Norman, Okla.

Click here to read a story on Johnston from last year when the Jackrabbits finished the season ranked No. 19 in the final USA Today/ESPN coaches poll with a record of 32-3.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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