Evan Warnert

Wrestling team has a new head coach

Staff Writer
Ken Francis


The Big Lake wrestling team will have a new head coach this season.
Evan Warnert will be taking over the reins from long-time coach Loren Holthaus.
Although he is only 24, Warnert has a long history on the mat. He wrestled in Sauk Rapids from kindergarten through his senior year and was a member of the varsity team starting in eighth grade. He wrestled on the only team from Sauk Rapids-Rice to reach the state tournament (2006) and was team MVP in 2007 when he qualified for the state tournament as an individual. He was all-conference in the CLC three times and finished his high school career with over 100 wins.
He accepted a football scholarship to Minot State University where he played defensive back for three seasons, then transferred to St. Cloud State to finish his degree.
He coached wrestling as an assistant for two years at Sauk Rapids-Rice followed by one year at Royalton before graduating.
“I found out about the coaching position at Big Lake while I was coaching at Royalton,” says Warnert.
He also saw a teaching opening for health/physical education online. He got an interview for the teaching position in March and was hired later that day. In May he interviewed for the head coach position and got that as well. 
“Being a head wrestling coach was always an aspiration of mine, but even I didn't see it happening at the age of 24.  Everything seemed to fall into place perfectly and I am extremely excited to start the season,” he says.
Warnert has some former quality Big Lake wrestlers as assistants.
“I am excited about our staff. I feel we have one of the best around. Justin Nelson is my head assistant and was a 2008 state champion from Big Lake, and Tee Baker is another assistant who was 2008 state runner up,” says Warnert. “I’m grateful to have them on board because they both not only possess great knowledge of the sport, they also know our program and wrestlers inside and out. This makes the transition much more smooth for both myself and the wrestlers this year.”
Warnert says his coaching style is based on positivity, building relationships, and developing individuals with high character.   “I think back to a quote I once heard that I try to take with me whenever I’m dealing with young people: “If you make them better men (or women), they will become better wrestlers. This can be used in any context, but I really try to emphasize this with my staff because I truly believe it,” he says. 
“My hopes for this season are for all involved in Big Lake wrestling to have a blast and to turn some heads come section and state time.”


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Kara Zoller, Health Promotions Supervisor