In 2017, when Rob Stevermer took over as the girls basketball coach at Mankato East, the numbers and number of victories were both declining.
Since then, however, the Cougars have participated in a state tournament and remained near the top of the Big Nine Conference standings.
“I have many fond memories,” stated Stevermer. “There has definitely been a lot of growth. Many teenage females were gaining experience with high school basketball.
“It took some time to establish a winning culture and an expectation of success. A large number of children have worked diligently during the summer and offseason to improve.”
Stevermer leaves East after six successful seasons.
After six seasons as East’s girls basketball coach, Stevermer has resigned. Stevermer finished each of the last three seasons in the top three in the Big Nine with a 59-19 record. His overall record was 85-73.
The Cougars had a record of 5-21 in Stevermer’s first year and 9-17 in his second. By 2020-21, East’s record was 14-6. And two years ago, the Cougars were 25-6, won the Big Nine, and finished fourth in the Class AAA tournament.
“Rob has worked diligently to develop the program,” said East activities director Todd Waterbury. “He has dedicated his time to giving these females an opportunity at success. He has had a tremendously positive impact on the program.”
Stevermer, 49, announced that he will assist Justin DeGrood in the men’s basketball program at Gustavus Adolphus. He will join assistants Chris VanderHyde and Gary Holmseth, but he is unsure of his responsibilities.
Peyton, his daughter, will be a freshman in the women’s basketball program at Gustavus.
Stevermer said, “I’ve always considered coaching at the college level.” “It was not a simple decision, but I received family consent. “It’s time for a new adventure, as the timing seems right.”
According to Stevermer, he will continue teaching social studies at East.
Waterbury stated that he will post the job opening this week in an effort to fill it as soon as possible.
The last time the position was available, only two candidates applied.
“We’re hoping for some interest,” he said. “The pantry is not empty. We’ll see if there’s someone who can take over and keep things moving.”