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Terwilliger hired at Eden Prairie

By Loren Nelson, 04/06/22, 4:00PM CDT


New Eagles coach has abundance of ties to program; Ranheim takes over at SW Christian/Richfield

Mike Terwilliger, who accepted the head coaching position at Eden Prairie on Tuesday, guided Bloomington Jefferson for the last four seasons. Photo by Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Sports Media

Mike Terwilliger, an Edina graduate who coached Bloomington Jefferson for the past four seasons, landed one of the state’s most high-profile coaching positions Tuesday, agreeing to lead 2009, 2011 and 2021 state Class 2A champion Eden Prairie.

“I’m very humbled and excited and honored to give it a shot at (Eden Prairie), that’s for sure,” said Terwilliger, who for 15 years ran the Little Twigs Hockey School for “rookie” players out of the Eden Prairie Community Center and served as the Eagles’ junior varsity coach in the mid-1990s. “I have a lot of good memories in Eden Prairie.”

Terwilliger’s hire was part of a flurry of coaching moves this week that included the departures of Trent Eigner from five-time state Class 1A champion St. Thomas Academy, Glen Lang from four-time state Class 1A champion Breck and Will Scholz from 2018 state Class 1A champion Orono.

Also on Tuesday, Paul Ranheim, a former longtime assistant at Eden Prairie, was hired as the head coach at Southwest Christian/Richfield. As of Wednesday, five programs were still in the process of making coaching changes: Bloomington Jefferson, Breck, Orono, St. Louis Park and St. Thomas Academy.

More turnover is likely among the state’s 148 programs. There were 34 coaching changes entering last season, 19 leading up to the 2020-21 campaign and 24 before the 2019-20 season.

Terwilliger steps in at Eden Prairie for one of the state’s legendary coaches in Lee Smith, who compiled a 547-221-39 record in his 29 years. Smith led the Eagles to all three of their state titles and three runner-up finishes among 13 state tournament appearances.

Terwilliger, a junior defenseman on Edina’s 1988 state championship team, guided Bloomington Jefferson to a 40-54-2 record in his four years, including a 10-16-0 mark last season. A dynasty program with five state titles spanning the 1980s and ’90s, the Jaguars haven’t reached the state tournament since 2005.

“It’s bittersweet because I’m going to miss the kids at Jefferson … we had really good kids,” said Terwilliger, who lives about a mile from Eden Prairie High School and the adjacent Eden Prairie Community Center. His daughter Alice was an eighth grader on the Eden Prairie girls’ hockey junior varsity team last season.

Terwilliger said Tom Gerdes, a longtime Eden Prairie assistant coach, will stay with the program and be a part of his staff.

Ranheim, who also won a state championship playing at Edina (1984), played in more than 1,000 games in the NHL in 15 seasons. He served as an assistant under Smith at Eden Prairie for the past nine seasons. He’s the Stars’ third coach in as many years.

Coaching Changes entering 2022-23 Season

School 2021-22 Coach 2022-23 Coach Comment
Bloomington Jefferson Mike Terwilliger Matt Elsen Elsen has been coaching in the Jefferson program for the last decade, most recently as an assistant coach. He also served on the coaching staffs at Holy Angels and Hopkins. He was a standout player at Richfield High School and for the St. Paul Vulcans and UW-River Falls. Terwilliger, who resigned to take the head coaching position at Eden Prairie, guided the Jaguars to a 40-54-2 record in four years, including a 10-16-0 mark last season.
Breck Glen Lang Lang served as the Mustangs' junior varsity coach under previous head coaches Wally Chapman and Les Larson as part of his 25-year involvement in the program. Lang posted 60-68-1 record in his five seasons as head coach, including a 9-17-0 mark in 2021-22.
Dodge County Nick Worden/John Morales Andrew Wilcox/Bryce Wilcox Bryce Wilcox was a defenseman and Andrew Wilcox a forward for Rochester Century. Both played at UW-Eau Claire and most recently have served as Wildcats assistant coaches. Worden coached the Wildcats for four seasons, compiling a 64-38-1 record. He guided Dodge County to semifinals of the state Class 1A tournament in 2021. Morales served as a co-head coach last season.
Eden Prairie Lee Smith Mike Terwilliger Terwilliger, a junior defenseman on Edina's 1988 state championship team, played collegiately at St. Lawrence University. A former teacher at Eden Prairie's Cedar Ridge Elementary, Terwilliger is the Hockey Programs Manager for Minnesota Hockey. He was the head coach at Bloomington Jefferson for the last four seasons. Smith, one of the most successful coaches in state history, guided the Eagles to a 547-221-39 record and three state Class 2A championships in his 29 years. Eden Prairie went 15-12-0 last season, including a 4-2 loss to Prior Lake in the Section 2AA semifinals.
Northern Lakes Craig Larson Larson compiled a 113-117-6 record in his 10 seasons guiding the Lightning. In 2021 he guided the program to its first state tournament appearance.
Orono Will Scholz Sean Fish Fish coached the Orono girls' hockey team for four seasons and led the Spartans to a third-place finish at the state Class 1A tournament this spring. He previously served as an assistant for the St. Michael-Albertville and Anoka boys' programs. Scholz guided the Spartans to the 2018 Class 1A state title in his first season at the helm. He compiled an 86-42-3 record in his five seasons. The Spartans reached the Section 2 semifinals last season, losing 2-1 in double overtime to Delano.
Princeton Todd Frederick Frederick was the Tigers' coach for 17 seasons, compiling a 212-211-16 record. Princeton went 11-16-0 last season, losing 6-2 to Cambridge-Isanti in the quarterfinals of the Section 5A playoffs. He led to the Tigers to the state Class 1A tournament in 2002 and 2003.
Southwest Christian/Richfield Nick Heiberg Paul Ranheim Ranheim is a former Edina star who helped the Hornets win the 1984 state championship, scoring four goals to share the tourney lead. He played parts of 15 seasons in the NHL, totaling more than 1,000 games with Calgary, Hartford, Carolina, Philadelphia and Phoenix. Ranheim spent the last nine seasons as an assistant coach at Eden Prairie. Heiberg served as a co-associate head coach for the Stars in 2020-21 before taking over as head coach before last season. He led Southwest Christian/Richfield to an 11-14-2 record, including a 2-1 loss to Orono in the Section 2A quarterfinals.
St. Louis Park Ben Horsch Tyler Brodersen Brodersen, a three-sport athlete at St. Louis Park High School, scored a team-best 58 points as a senior for the boys' hockey team in the 2011-12 season. He played collegiately at St. Olaf College. He most recently coached the St. Louis Park Bantam AA team. Horsch, a former assistant at St. Paul Academy, was in his first season guiding the Orioles when he stepped down in late January. Matt Penner, an assistant coach under Horsch, took over as interim head coach to complete a 11-14-1 season that included a 6-0 loss to Wayzata in a Section 6AA quarterfinal.
St. Thomas Academy Trent Eigner Mike Randolph Randolph, who coached at Duluth East for 32 years, served as an associate head coach and JV coach for the Cadets last season. His 671 career victories ranks third all-time in the state, 36 behind retired record-holder Lorne Grosse of Rochester Mayo. Eigner, who guided Lakeville North to the 2015 Class 2A title as part of an undefeated (31-0-0) season, took over the St. Thomas Academy program entering the 2019-20 season. He led the Cadets to the state tournament in each of his first two seasons. Eigner went 45-28-6 in his three years at the helm, including a 13-13-1 mark last season.

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