Belle Plaine volleyball coach Cassie Koch is leaving one family to focus on another.

Koch recently stepped down as the Tigers’ mentor after six years at the helm of the program. She and her husband are expecting their second child in September.

“It was ultimately time for me to take back the time I dedicate to the program year-round and dedicate it to my growing family,” Koch said. “I have had nothing short of a fulfilling experience as head coach for the past six seasons.”

She guided Belle Plaine to its first state championship this past fall, sweeping Concordia Academy 25-20, 26-24, 25-20 to win the Class 2A title. It was the school’s fourth consecutive state tournament appearance under Koch.

Koch called the state title “obviously a milestone we’ve been seeking for some time. As hard as it is to depart after that, I do feel a sense of satisfaction that conveniently matches the circumstances of my personal life.”

The Tigers won five Minnesota River Conference championships during Koch’s tenure. She compiled a record of 149-51.

Koch, formerly Wolpern, graduated from Belle Plaine in 2002. She was the conference’s most valuable player three times.

“This sport has rewarded me in more ways than I can count,” Koch said.

 

Eagles legend retires

Apple Valley boys’ soccer coach Chuck Scanlon has announced his retirement after 38 years at the helm of the Eagles’ program. The state’s all-time winningest coach accumulated a career record of 586-122-57.

Scanlon won nine state championships and was never defeated in the finals. The Eagles won 17 section and 20 conference titles under his direction.

He also coached the school’s ringette and girls’ hockey program for 18 years.

RON HAGGSTROM