NEW ULM - New Ulm boys soccer coach Jack Gronholz announced to New Ulm Athletic Director Chad Eischens that he will be stepping down as head coach effective immediately.
Gronholz had a career record of 53-55 as head coach for the Eagles. He started as an assistant to Boyd Longshore during the first year of the program's existence. He was the head coach for seven years. The Eagles went 4-11 this past year with a young team.
Gronholz announced to Eischens about two weeks ago that he planned on stepping down due to the fact that he would have more of a workload at his full-time job and he couldn't commit to the hours needed to be a full-time coach.
"With my job, time constraints was tight already, and with the management and responsibilities, there was just no way I could allocate enough time to the soccer program to make it worthwhile and to be fair to the kids," Gronholz said.
Eischens did say the announcement did come as a surprise to him.
"We finished the season, and we always meet with the coaches after the season and he talked about coming back [next year]," Eischens said.?"He had a relatively young team this year and he was looking forward to taking these younger kids until they got some more experience."
Gronholz said it was tough to step down because he thought the program played in a lot of close games this year.
"We kind of chatted about that, and this year, although the record didn't show it, another goal here or there in the games, we could've been 10-6 instead of [having] four wins," he said.
The New Ulm soccer program combines players from New Ulm High School, Minnesota Valley Lutheran and New Ulm Cathedral. Eischens said that Gronholz did a good job of combining the kids from the three schools and getting them to work together as a cohesive unit.
"He was a very stable coach and I think the kids connected well with him," Eischens said.?"I thought the program was stable and on the right track and I just think he did a solid, all-around good job."