Cretin-Derham Hall, one of the state’s most visible and successful high school football programs, has tapped a former Vikings quarterback to replace 11-year head coach Mike Scanlan.
Brooks Bollinger, who served as the Raiders’ quarterbacks coach last season, will succeed Scanlan, who announced his retirement Monday.
Scanlan posted a mark of 104-22 and coached the school to the 2009 Prep Bowl championship.
Cretin-Derham Hall has struggled to keep its lofty perch of late. The Raiders, who compete in Class 6A, failed to reach the state tournament the past four consecutive seasons, the longest drought since their 1984 debut.
“It was just time,” Scanlan said Monday afternoon. “I’m certainly not bitter. I’m leaving on my terms. The last group of seniors was the most pleasant to be around in a long time. And there’s a nice group of ninth- and 10th-graders coming up.”
Scanlan, 63, will continue to work as a Cretin-Derham Hall guidance counselor.
Bollinger, 36, played quarterback for four years at Wisconsin, leading it to a Rose Bowl victory in 2000. He played professionally from 2003 to 2010, including stints with the Vikings, Jets and Cowboys.
Bollinger took over as head coach at Hill-Murray in 2011 and led it to the state tournament semifinals. He then took an assistant coaching job at the University of Pittsburgh and left after the 2013 season.
This past season Scanlan invited him to join Cretin-Derham Hall, where his wife, Natalie, attended school. They also have family in the area.
“I can’t imagine a better fit for me and my family,’’ Bollinger said in a prepared statement.
Scanlan, a 1970 Cretin graduate, coached in the Raiders’ program since 1987. He was the offensive coordinator when the team won the 1999 Prep Bowl with quarterback Joe Mauer.
In 2000 Scanlan became the co-head coach with Rich Kallok. Scanlan’s older brother Mal was the head football coach at Cretin-Derham Hall from 1983-92.
With long hair and a full beard, Scanlan did not look the part of a traditional football coach. He picked the team’s pregame music, a mix of 1960s garage rock and soul songs.
Scanlan played baseball for one year at Butler University before transferring home to the University of St. Thomas, where he played quarterback. He majored in social studies, then taught and coached in Red Wing for six years.
“Brooks doesn’t need me looking over his shoulder,” Scanlan said. “I’ll be up in the last row of the stands, not the sidelines. I like it. I’ll miss it. Hopefully, in time, I’ll get back into coaching at a lower level.”