Coach Carlson: behind the mask

Addi Bronwell, Sports Writer

Coaching hockey at a varsity level is not an easy task by any means but trying to do so during a global pandemic makes for a tough and highly restricted season. Coach Carlson of EHS boys hockey has graciously accepted this challenge and is stoked to see how this season and upcoming seasons play out.


Even as a hockey player himself, Todd Carlson knew at some point he would want to coach. In college, he got a taste of coaching when he had the opportunity to coach for three years. Since then, his love for the game has continued to grow. Mr. Carlson has been teaching in the social studies department at EHS since the fall of 1998. He grew up in St. Cloud and went to Gustavus Adolphus College for his undergraduate degree. Currently, he resides in Lakeville with his wife, Ms. Fair, who also teaches at EHS. This is his 27th year coaching hockey and his 16th year with the Eagan high school hockey program, this year being his first at a varsity level.


This season will be one for the record books. Carlson says “there are all sorts of challenges to this season related to COVID and even beyond that. From practice schedules, school start and end times, distancing on the ice, games, distance learning…the list just goes on from there!” When doing drill preparation for games, Carlson and other coaches definitely have to get a bit creative to stay within the COVID guidelines so that they can continue to play.


Coach Carlson and his assistant coach Mario Munoz work hard to keep things semi-normal for the players so they may play to the best of their ability and have fun. Carlson says that “the biggest changes have to do with our before and after [routines of] practices and games.” Carlson explained that Zoom meetings and videos have been crucial aspects as in-person time together is limited. “Creating drills and bringing in systems is a challenge with COVID but we just work within the parameters and try to make the game and practices as normal as can be,” says Carlson.


Even with COVID, that doesn’t stop the boys from putting their entire effort into practice. Coach Carlson is excited for this season and the years to come to continue to build the Eagan Wildcats boys hockey tradition. He’s thrilled for some “normalcy” through all of the chaos and is excited to watch this team come together and grow!