The Carleton College athletic program welcomed three new coaches this Winter Term. Sloan Wallgren was hired as the head men’s and women’s golf coach, Alec Holcomb is now the new head baseball coach and Marcus Pearson has begun his position as the head strength & conditioning coach. These coaches were selected after a national search conducted by the PEAR faculty and staff, according to Athletic Director Gerald Young. Each coach has previous coaching experience and ambitious goals for Carleton’s student athletes.
Wallgren joins Carleton from St. Cloud State University, where he worked as a golf coach from 2009 to 2020. He takes the place of Jerry Eriksen, who retired in 2021 but served as the interim head of the women’s and men’s golf teams this past fall. Wallgren received his undergraduate degree and a master’s in Sports Management & Administration from the University of Minnesota. He also received a Director’s Licensure in Education/Community Education from Minnesota State University — Moorhead in 2022.
Wallgren was attracted to Carleton for a few reasons: “First and most obvious was the strong academic environment that Carleton offers. Second, I was very impressed with the Faculty and Staff that were involved in the search committee. They were fantastic and have all worked at Carleton for many years, which, to me, said this was a great place to work.”
Wallgren described his goals for the men’s and women’s golf teams: “My goal for both teams is to simply continue to improve on their recent success. I want to make sure that the four seniors on our Men’s team have a great experience during their final spring season. The Women’s Team will be going to the NCAA National Tournament in May. I also want them to have a great experience and strong showing.”
Wallgren was thrilled to come to Carleton, expressing that “the previous coaches have built a great program here at Carleton and [he is] honored and excited to be part of the future of Carleton College Golf.”
Wallgren started his new position on January 9, 2023.
Alec Holcomb, similarly, started his new position at Carleton on January 9. He joined Carleton from Concordia St. Paul (Division II).He received his undergraduate degree and played Division I baseball at North Dakota State University. Following that, he pursued a master’s in Coaching and Athletic Administration at Concordia, where he recently concluded his collegiate baseball career as a pitcher. He also has coached baseball at Velocity Baseball Training in Rochester, MN.
An Owatonna native, Holcomb is looking forward to returning to Southern Minnesota. Carleton stood out to him because “of the people. I love sports and especially baseball and the ability that it has to bring people from all walks of life together. That is exactly what Carleton has to offer: phenomenally well-rounded kids that have a passion to learn and develop. That is a coach’s dream and that is exactly what the student athletes at Carleton bring every day.”
He also expressed lofty goals for the baseball team: winning a MIAC conference championship. “Carleton has one career conference title (1991),” he said. “I would love to have an opportunity to play meaningful baseball games late into May (Playoff Season). More importantly, as I touched on above, is to help the student athletes develop and grow their passions and work ethic. It is not all about just on the field when the bright lights are on. My goal is to develop skills through baseball that transfer to all of their areas of life.”
The baseball team is scheduled to play their season opener at US Bank Stadium on March 7, 2023.
Lastly, Marcus Pearson will join Carleton as head strength and conditioning coach. Pearson comes from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he worked with over 600 athletes across 23 varsity sports. He joined Centre in 2019 as a strength & conditioning assistant coach and was promoted in 2021 to head strength and conditioning coach and director of the Buck Fitness Center.
Prior to Centre, Pearson spent a year as an assistant strength & conditioning coach at University of Kentucky and three years working in the strength and conditioning program at Eastern Kentucky University, where he completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He earned his master’s there in Exercise and Sport Science in 2016. Pearson also holds certification with the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association and the National Strength & Conditioning Association in addition to Level-1 coach certification with USA Weightlifting and USA Track & Field.
Pearson described his main goal: “Ensur[ing] that [Carleton’s student athletes] are as prepared as possible to compete at the highest level in their sport and any other endeavors they may encounter in life.”