Coaches/Athlete of the Week

Athlete of the Week

Once the 2019 season is underway, we will be posting our athlete of the week here. Check back weekly during the season to see who we highlight!  

“Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who can win get inside their player and motivate.”

-Vince Lombardi

Coaching Staff

Jason Liston
Head Coach/Triple Jump Coach

I work in the private sector for an insurance company. I'm happily married, have a nine year old boy at home who keeps me on my toes and is an aspiring track athlete. I also love to travel, rock climb and camp… anything outdoors. I am a former collegiate triple jumper at Jamestown College who continues to love and follow the sport of track & field. My coaching hero is my collegiate track coach, Rollie Greeno. He preached mental toughness and being a good citizen; themes that resonate with our program.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” 

Staff photo of Jason Liston

Greg Kugler
Hurdles/High Jump Coach

I have been teaching art at the middle school and coaching in the Spring Lake Park schools since 1994. I received my undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College where I competed on the swim team and the track & field team (decathlon). I also earned my Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota. I have coached the hurdles since joining the coaching staff back in 2000. The high jump is an event in which I held the school record here at Spring Lake Park back in 1988. When not coaching track in the spring, I am the head swim & diving coach for both the girls and boys teams here at Spring Lake Park High School.

Greg Kugler

Sarah Bovee
Assistant Distance Coach

I have a bachelor’s degree in Health and Fitness from Gustavus Adolphus College, and in addition to coaching, I am currently working as a substitute teacher. During high school and college, I swam competitively as a distance swimmer. My years on the Gustavus swim team taught me what it means to be a part of a team—I learned to work hard not just for myself, but for my teammates, and at the end of the day, we were building relationships through supporting each other in practice and meets. I carry what I learned about team unity as a Gustie with me, and use it as inspiration for coaching.  Though my background is in swimming, running has become my passion. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to use my passion for running and join the Track and Field staff as a support staff member; I am very excited to transition into a coaching role on staff this season. Outside of running, I enjoy traveling, hiking, and spending time with my friends and family.

Staff photo of Sarah Bovee

Zach Marshall
Head Sprints/Long Jump Coach

I was not a natural athlete and was lucky enough to have great coaches at Spring Lake Park who convinced me to come out for athletics.  I went from a no sport athlete as an incoming freshman, to a three sport athlete by the time I graduated in 2010. My senior year of track at SLP, I was part of two all conference sprint relays and was awarded the Blue Baton Award. After graduation I attended UMD and achieved my Exercise Science degree in 2015. While at UMD I was involved in various activities however some highlights include running Grandmas marathon 4 years in a row, interning for the strength and conditioning staff, and having season hockey tickets to the Bulldogs. I intend to go for my Masters in Exercise Science, after a few more years of coaching and training experience. In my free time, I enjoy lifting weights, doing anything outdoors, and traveling. My favorite runner is Steve Prefontaine, and both of these quotes of his speak to the personal integrity to push, not only yourself, but your teammates and competition be the best. 

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift."

Staff photo of Zach Dykes

Katrina Balzer
Sprint Coach

Hola! I'm Coach Balzer III! (I come from a long line of coaches and teachers).  At SLPHS, I teach Spanish 1 and 2, and love working with young people as they develop their language skills and learn about the Hispanic culture.  I love to travel and meet new people.  I also love playing any sport but have always loved basketball, volleyball, and track.  I started running track in elementary school and continued into high school where I ran sprints and relays, and my senior year I switched to mid-distance.  At SLP, I coached the Freshmen Volleyball team as well as Middle School Track.  I'm now excited to work with the high school track athletes this season!

Staff photo of Katrina Balzer

Sara Vincent
Sprint Coach

I am a health teacher at SLPHS and coached both cross country and middle school track in the last year. I teach yoga and have a background in group fitness and strength coaching. I love spending time outdoors and with my family, especially at our cabin in the summer. I play soccer and love to travel! A quote I really like is, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK

Staff photo of Sara Vincent

Doug Potthoff
Throws Coach

I have been a Health/PE/DAPE Teacher and Coach in Spring Lake Park for 28 years and was named 2016 Secondary Teacher of the Year in Spring Lake Park Schools. I have coached adapted bowling, football and hockey, as well as track and field at all levels over the past 30 years. I have also been involved with our strength/conditioning program at SLPHS. I am currently teaching full-time DAPE at SLPHS and both Westwood Schools, coaching our freshmen football team, our adapted bowling team/coordinating adapted athletics, instructing strength & conditioning and coaching throwing events in track and field.

I graduated from White Bear Lake Sr. High School (1985); hold a BS Degree in Physical Education from St. Cloud State (1990) and a MA Degree in Administration of Athletics from the University of St. Thomas (1996).

My family consists of: myself, my wife Kelli, who is a Business-Ed Teacher at North St. Paul Sr. High and daughters Avery (UMD & UWRF-track), Gabby (SMSU-tennis) and Sonya (8th) attending school and playing sports in Mahtomedi. I enjoy attending church, time with my family, the YMCA, playing golf, hockey, biking, fishing, reading, coaching and attending sporting events.

My passion in education is teaching, coaching and mentoring teenagers! I very much enjoy being a teacher and coach in our dynamic profession to the students in Spring Lake Park Schools! If you ever have questions or concerns, please contact me at or 763-600-5996 and I will get back to you as soon as I can! Go Panthers!

Staff photo of Doug Potthoff

Daulton Olinger 
Throws Coach

This is my first official year being a coach for the track and field team as I have helped some in the past. I also coached the defensive line for the Spring Lake Park football team this year as well. I am a Spring Lake Park alumni graduating in 2013 where I played both football and track.  

staff photo of Daulton Olinger

Mike Hrudka
Pole Vault Coach

My wife Heidi and I have been Blaine residents for over 15 years and we have two sons. I have two sons who have attended Spring Lake Park High School. I work in the private sector for a restaurant chain. I competed, very successfully, as a pole vaulter in high school setting school records for indoor and outdoor of over 14’. Injury caused me to compete only one year collegiately. I love track and have a passion for pole vaulting that drives me to innovate drills and improve technique.

Staff photo of Mike Hrudka

Dani Labine
Assistant Pole Vault Coach

Staff photo Dani Labine

Thomas Fields
Strength Coach

I grew up in Waverly, Iowa, where I played basketball, football, baseball, and ran track. I graduated from high school in 2006 and then attended Wartburg College (also in Waverly) and played football my first year. Instead of continuing to play football throughout college, I got my coaching certificate and began coaching middle school basketball and football. I hold a bachelor's degree (2010) in Elementary Education and a Master's degree (2013) from Iowa State University in Educational Leadership. After college I taught 4th and 5th grades in Waverly for three years before moving to Minnesota.

My family includes my wife, Noelle, who teaches kindergarten at St. Francis Area Schools, our two-year-old daughter Linnéa and our dachshund Daisy. I teach 5th grade at Westwood Middle School, where I also coach basketball, football, and supervise the weight room. We are involved in our church in New Brighton and love having our summers off to enjoy camping, fishing, golfing spending time with Noelle's family on the boat or at her family's cabin, and making trips back to Iowa to visit my family.

Staff photo of Thomas Fileds

Michelle Deedrick
Distance Coach

I am currently in my 7th year as an elementary physical education teacher.  In my teaching career I have taught in New York City, Florida and now Minnesota.  I earned my BS degree from Bethel University and my Masters from Emporia State University.  While at Bethel I had the opportunity to run both Cross Country and Track and serve as a captain.  In Florida I coached a youth triathlon team, girls basketball, and most recently a high school adapted soccer team but am so excited to be fulfilling my dream of coaching track.  I love adventure and have sky dived, bungee jumped, cage dived with sharks, and have ridden an ostrich.  In fact I have traveled to 21 different countries and my favorite was South Africa.  I am married to my wonderful husband Matt and we live in North Minneapolis with our two rescue dogs.  My coach hero is John Wooden and my favorite quote of his is "It takes time to create excellence.  If it could be done quickly, more people would do it."