St. Michael-Albertville football coach Earl Bauman, who retired after the 2010 season after more than 30 years in the school district, will be inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association's Hall of Fame Saturday, March 31. The ceremony is set for 5 p.m. at the Double Tree Park Place.
Bauman, who also retired from teaching near the end of the 2010-2011 school year, was inducted in the Hall of Fame in September 2011.
Over the course of three decades in St. Michael-Albertville, Bauman led the Knights to nearly 200 wins, retiring with a record of 195-125. He took the Knights to the Metrodome on four different occasions, including a stop in the 1999 State 3A Championship tilt.
Bauman taught industrial arts the high school, moving his family to St. Michael in 1980. He continues to work as a "consultant" for various contracting businesses, assisting a group that includes former students and players.
"He's about as busy now as he was teaching and coaching," said Jared Essler, current Knights football coach and a former STMA assistant under Bauman. "Earl did so much for this program and this school. You don't jump in and change a whole heck of a lot."
Essler and the at the half of the school's home contest vs. Rogers, presenting him with a plaque. Dozens of former players and fellow coaches joined him at midfield in front of a packed house at the St. Michael-Albertville football field and track he helped design and build.
"Perhaps no one has done more for high school athletics," said Scott Berning recently at an STMA School Board meeting. Berning was speaking on behalf of a group that attempted to get that same athletic complex named after coach Bauman last year. Instead, the St. Michael-Albertville School Board elected to place a permanent plaque and stand at the track and field that hosts STMA home events.
"It was a great night," Bauman said. "We had a lot of talent on that field. About 10 of those guys were Division I players, and we had the school's all-time rusher in Ryan Zachman. I think that's pretty special for a school our size to have that kind of success."
During his tenure, STMA played in three different classes and played at the state tournament level five different times.
He was just extremely instrumental in telling me who I was as a player.
The most prolific player, of course, was Matt Spaeth. The defensive lineman and tight end/receiver went to star for the University of Minnesota, and won a Super Bowl Championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is now under contact with the Chicago Bears.
"He was just extremely instrumental in telling me who I was as a player. He rode me hard," Spaeth said. "I think senior year he did a great job of keeping Ryan (Zachman) and me deflated. He wouldn't let our egos get too big. And that was good. It grounded me. That lasted with me for a long time. I still try to maintain that."
Spaeth said some of his greatest football memories came in an STMA uniform, with Bauman on the sidelines.
"High school football, though ... there's nothing else like it," Spaeth said. "College was probably my favorite. But high school, on a smaller scale, it's great. Under the lights. You just never forget it."
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