Magic softball coach steps down

Monticello Magic softball coach Lori Hanson resigned from the position last week, becoming the third prominent coach to do so in the last four months.
Hanson joins former boys basketball coach Bruce Balder-Lanoue and girls hockey coach (and Lori’s husband) Tim Hanson in resigning during the spring summer.
Like the others, Hanson said the time was right for a change.
“It’s nothing more than it was just a nice time for me to step away,” she said.
Hanson has been coaching softball in Monticello for 12 years. She spent eight of those as an assistant before becoming the head coach four seasons ago.
Last year was a bit of a tough year for the Magic, but with a good group of girls coming back, Hanson decided to stay for one more year.
“I was looking forward to working with this group of athletes,” said Hanson.
And overall, the year went well. It ended sooner than the team hoped for, but it featured an impressive run where the Magic knocked off some of the conference’s top teams during the middle of the season.
“They were a fun team to watch last year,” said Athletic Director Gary Revenig. “So, I was surprised. I appreciate what she did here. But I fully support her decision.”
Revenig will begin searching now for a softball coach that will lead the team to some posteason success that has been relatively elusive for the program over the years.
Hanson meanwhile, will be out to explore her options.
“It’s a great time for me to put my energy in a different place,” said Hanson.
And while she doesn’t yet know exactly what that place will be, she has plenty of options – from coaching her daughter’s eight-year-old softball team to possibly trying to get back to the sport of basketball, her first love, and a sport she personally excelled at.
As for having to replace three coaches in four months, Revenig attributes it to a climate that has become much tougher on high school coaches in recent years.
“It’s grueling,” said Revenig. “Coaching has become year round.”
He also noted a Star Tribune article from this week that discussed the pressure coaches are forced to deal with from parents, and the non-stop criticism they get for almost every decision.
“I think it’s getting harder and harder to coach,” said Revenig.