New Ulm finds new head coaches for football, boys’ basketball

By Jim Bastian

Journal Sports Writer

NEW ULM — New Ulm High School Activities Director Troy Guentzel announced Friday that a new head football coach and a new head boys’ basketball coach have been formally hired.

Eric Kaufman is the new football coach, replacing Corey Kneeshaw, and Matt Dennis is the new boys’ basketball coach.

Guentzel said that Kaufman, who will teach physical education, had been a head football coach at KMS (Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.

Dennis comes to New Ulm from Hancock, Michigan, and will teach high school social studies.

He replaces Matt Hauge who resigned after last season.

Guentzel said that Dennis has been a head boys’ and girls’ basketball coach as well as a head coach in cross country and track and field.

Guentzel said that he is excited about the two head coaching hires.

“We had these two big (coaching) spots to fill and both are going to be teachers,” he said. “And that has been a goal of mine to get the coaches to also be teachers and build a cohesive unit here.”

Guentzel said that filling both positions was to first find a strong teacher and then look at the coaching part of it next.

“We did the teaching interview first and if we liked him, we called them back for a coaching interview. We are excited about both hires.

“The difficulty is making a decision not for today or tomorrow but what is the best long-term impact on our school and community. That was what our criteria was. We are looking to put together a meet-and-greet with Eric and players soon.”

And New Ulmites may well be familiar with Kaufmann as he taught at New Ulm Cathedral from 1999-2005 and was an assistant coach in football and baseball for the Greyhounds.

New Ulm High School also hired Brandon Beranek, a 2015 graduate of New Ulm Cathedral who played football for the Greyhounds and also St John’s University as a Math teacher.

“Eric has had a conversation with him about adding him to his coaching staff and from what I have been told, he will be a good asset to our school and community.”