HUMBOLDT — For over 40 years, the medals and the championships have been nothing greater than the icing on the cake for Dean Clasen.
His teaching and educating is centered round educating life classes and having fun with the method.
“Win or lose, it doesn’t have an effect on your job and the way you do it. The experiences that you’ve got — the disappointments, the frustrations and the coaching — these are the vital issues,” Clasen stated. “No one remembers the medals you gained down the street. It’s the character you present.
“We need to make you an excellent particular person first.”
The life cycle of a highschool athlete is an attention-grabbing one, and nobody is aware of that greater than the long-time space coach. College students be a part of a program as a 14-year-old teenager, and depart as a extra mature 18-year-old model of themselves.
“It’s actually gratifying to see the development from a freshman to a senior,” stated Clasen, a coach for Humboldt Excessive College. “After I first began, we had some younger bucks who had been actually aggressive and needed to begin the world on fireplace. They only didn’t have sufficient matches.
“Educating them and creating them into a greater model of themselves (on and off the course or observe) is nice to see.”
Management has been in Clasen’s blood since beginning as an assistant observe and basketball coach at Webster Metropolis in 1979. He has been at his ultimate vacation spot, Humboldt, for over 30 years.
Clasen had a six-year stint in South Hamilton, the place he was the ladies observe coach for six seasons. He began his first workforce with six women in this system.
Clasen, who’s initially from Rock Rapids, got here to Humboldt within the 1988-89 marketing campaign and took over the ladies observe program that spring. He turned the Wildcats’ girls and boys cross nation coach in 1998 and has been there ever since.
The 2020 observe season was the ultimate one on the helm for Clasen with the ladies observe program. He took a step again to assist and mentor this system’s present head coach, Spencer Ross.
“I used to be going to retire final 12 months, however I caught it out one other 12 months due to COVID (cancelling the season),” Clasen stated. “Spencer got here in and has achieved a improbable job. He got here in throughout his second 12 months (as an assistant) and began taking up exercises. He has achieved a improbable job and may be very educated.
“After over 30 years, I would like to maneuver on. I’ve a part-time job at Humboldt Mutual Insurance coverage Affiliation, and being a member of the Nokomis Woodworking Membership, I’ve to offer justice to that as effectively. Each had been elements. My spouse (Linda) has been extraordinarily affected person. She likes to journey; it’s about time we try this. Linda has been a extremely huge think about what I’ve achieved. She is so supportive.”
The veteran coach nonetheless plans on main the Humboldt cross nation program for a couple of extra years.
“With cross nation, I’m enjoying it by ear,” Clasen stated. “I can’t simply stop chilly turkey.”
When a runner begins in Clasen’s program, the coach makes certain each ounce of power goes into making their expertise a productive one.
“The most important factor for me — and quite a lot of children land on this class — is when that mild bulb comes on,” Clasen stated. They aren’t as sturdy and are normally nonetheless rising (as underclassmen). Then they shoot up and get slower and pissed off for some time.
“Having the ability to persuade these children to keep it up for the long-term and have some success and mature (by the point they’re juniors and seniors) is what it’s about.”
When Clasen started his stint at South Hamilton, he shortly realized the overlap between cross nation and observe.
“After I obtained to South Hamilton, Vern Hill actually helped me out,” Clasen stated. “We had six women and I requested him what I may do? He stated you’ll be able to’t have observe with out cross nation. So we began cross nation. I didn’t know a doggone factor concerning the sport on the time, apart from the meets that I labored at Webster Metropolis.
“I went to quite a lot of observe clinics for over 35 years and talked to individuals. They shared info that allowed me to get higher. I additionally did quite a lot of studying and analysis. There’s simply a lot to it. Working is sort of a street map. There are quite a lot of methods to get to the identical vacation spot. So long as you consider in what you might be doing and clarify it…the children will purchase into it.”
Being round student-athletes who work laborious and stay as much as their potential is one among Clasen’s largest rewards.
“Going again to the early 2000s, that group loved operating. We went into the district meet with out anybody within the High-10,” Clasen stated. “We gained the district, operating with one another (between eleventh and twentieth). We confirmed them what a workforce may do.”
Clasen additionally enjoys seeing his former athletes develop and mature in faculty and the true world.
“I’ve watched them develop,” Clasen stated. “I can take them the place they have to be, and if they’ve an excellent expertise and luxuriate in it right here, they’ll proceed to do it. That’s the enjoyable half — seeing them proceed.
“I’ve some (former Wildcats) who’re older and operating in marathons. It’s nice to see them proceed.”
Clasen fondly and vividly remembers the 2017 North Central Convention championships.
“The 12 months we gained the NCC in 2017 was completely excellent,” Clasen stated. “I stood throughout the sector and watched the ladies celebrating.”
Clasen retired as an Industrial Arts trainer on the Humboldt Center College in 2013. His focus, nonetheless to at the present time, is maximizing the general expertise for his student-athletes.
“We had some good individuals via the years not capable of get within the High-5 at state,” Clasen stated. “However recently, we now have had our greatest performances on the state meet. You possibly can’t do something about anybody else. So long as you might have your greatest efficiency, that’s all you’ll be able to ask.
“You are taking that as your win.”
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