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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Coach’s Corner: Jerry Ericksen

<rleton Men’s Golf Team will soon kick off their spring season. They have waited for the snow to melt and the winter cold front to pass, and finally it is their time to compete again. They are looking to bounce back from a difficult fall term,  when they placed 8th in the MIAC. Knights look to lean on the  leadership of Head Coach Jerry Ericksen for a strong showing this spring.

Golf has been part of Jerry Erickson’s life for a long time. He first learned to play golf from his mother when he was young. His coaching days started when he led the St. Olaf Men’s Team, and he continued on to coach a Minnesota State Class A girls champion from Belle Plaine High School. Ericksen’s experience on the course and golf expertise is proven in his stature as a former Northfield Golf Club champion.

Since then, he has been a part of the Carleton community, something he very much enjoys. Ericksen said some of his favorite parts about being a member of the Carleton community are “being mightily impressed with the contagious positive attitude of the members of the athletic department. Being made painfully aware, in a positive way, that one characteristic of Carleton students, as opposed to other colleges and universities I have been associated with, is their extreme attention to detail.”

Ericksen’s ten years at Carleton have been eventful both on and off of the course. One of his more interesting experiences was when he was asked to become ordained so that he could marry a former player to their fiance. Ericksen said that his favorite part of coaching at Carleton is the relationships he has formed with former golf alums. “I miss being with them and love watching them getting ready to fly away to their careers.”

Although Ericksen misses his former players he is looking forward to the rest of the season. Ericksen, although not setting the expectations too high, is hoping for his athletes to play with a lot of effort, which could propel them forward in Carleton’s DIII MIAC conference. He said, while recollecting on a past season, “Once, over 20 years ago, there was a huge rainstorm and the MIAC tournament was shortened.  Carleton was sixth at the time and it remains the best Carleton has ever done in their thirty some years in the MIAC. However, even the sixth place team last year shot 296 in the final round.  Those that follow golf know what this means in terms of the competition in this conference.” This steep competition in the conference is not new to Ericksen, who has coached many competitive golfers at Carleton and around the state.

While the Knight’s play on the course over the past few seasons has not been up to par with that of their MIAC opponents, the overall spirit and effort of the team is positive. This is one of the things Ericksen is looking forward to this year. He said that some of their team goals include to “demonstrate leadership ability, resolve conflict and foster creativity” and to “play some decent golf and have fun.” Ericksen hopes these team goals will help raise Carleton’s expectations going into the season.

Ericksen said that the key to the Knights competing at a high level this spring season is to have “a wonderful positive team spirit. … Their enthusiasm is contagious even to an old coach.”

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