April 1, 2004 at 3:50 p.m.
Not anymore. Wakefield turned in his letter of resignation last week, ending his eight-year marriage with the Chisago Lakes gymnastics program. Seven of those years were as head coach.
“I need more time with my family, plus, being coach of two sports, that’s a lot of time away,” said Wakefield, who will remain Chisago Lakes girls head swimming coach. “Swimming is easier on my body.”
Wakefield first stepped onto the mat 14 years ago at Hudson High School in Hudson, Wisconsin. After serving as an assistant for two years, Wakefield served as the head coach for the next four years before coming to Chisago to be an assistant with the Wildcats (then Trojans). One year later, Wakefield accepted the head coaching position, a position he has been in ever since. That is until now.
With Chisago, Wakefield has guided the ‘Cats to two section titles, their last one came in 2002-03.
“I’ve had some awesome parents and hard working kids over the years,” replied Wakefield. “This year, the Eastmans and the Ericksons were phenomenal, they did so much work. Being parents of two of our seniors, they were there every time we needed them. Over the years, my wife and I have become great friends with some of the parents. That, along with the great kids I’ve coached over the years has been a highlight for me.”
Wakefield has been a highlight for Chisago. His time in the gym has been well spent, helping develop the program into a power. The numbers don’t lie. Over the last five seasons, the Wildcats have either finished first or second in the section, including this past season where Chisago placed second at the section 7A meet, trailing only Mahtomedi. Nothing like going out on top.
“It was just time. My wife and I want to start a family, plus, it’s not as fun as it used,” replied Wakefield. “The sport has changed, the kids have changed, and the parents have changed. I always knew that I would know when it was time to get out and it’s time.”
As for a replacement, several names have already floated to the surface. If interested, contact Chisago Lakes Activities Director Perry Aadland at 213-2526. A decision is expected to be made within the next few months.