Foley steps down as New Ulm boys’ basketball coach

NEW ULM — When Steve Foley took over the head boys’ basketball coaching job at New Ulm High School prior to the start of last basketball season, he had every intention of being the head coach of the Eagles for several years.

But citing a tiring schedule and being away from family more than he wanted to be, Foley resigned as head coach of the Eagles.

“It was a long season and I got tired, “ Foley said. “I had done this before –coached — been there and had taken a couple of years off. And that makes you realize how much time you spend away from your family. It just got exhausting. The kids were awesome but it got to the point where I did not know if I wanted to put in the time necessary. You put in a lot of time in the summer and in the off-season and during the season. I just do not think that I was prepared to do that.”

“When it got down to March this year I was so dead tired — I was exhausted and I thought that I cannot do this year after year. I had coached for 28 years and it makes you realize how much time you miss from your family.”

Foley’s resignation came as a surprise to New Ulm High School Activities Director Troy Guentzel.

“I was surprised as anyone,” Guentzel said about Foley’s decision. “He had a good year this past season (12-14) and I liked the directions things were headed. Things were good — morale was good. We had more wins than we had in the last few years. So when Steve said he was not coming back I was surprised but also not surprised. I stress to all of our coaches that in the end they have to do what is best for them and their families because that is what is most important.”

Guentzel said that the position has already been posted internally and if needed will go off-staff.

“It would be ideal to pair the coaching job with a high school teaching position. But unfortunately the [teaching] positions that we have had not lended themselves well to coaching candidates,” he said. “And like I said last year, I struggle with putting a coach in a position to fail right off of the bat based on their experience if they have never coached high school before. I am OK if they have never coached varsity before. But the longer a coach is out of coaching, the more it changes and the harder it is to get yourself in the swing of things of what needs to happen.”

Guentzel said that there are currently 49 head high school basketball coaching openings around Minnesota.

“We have a lot of experience coming back for next year — we have five players back with three years of varsity experience.

“If the right person — if a woman came down to New Ulm High School and it was going to be a good coaching fit — I would hire her on the spot, no hesitation.”

Foley also feels that the pieces are in place for next season for the Eagles.

“We have [Noah] Hauge, [Braden] Zimmerman, [Jaden] Domeier and [Reece] Melby back along with some good freshman and sophomores coming up,” Foley said. “The kids are great to work with.”