Raised in Park Rapids, Kristi was a Panther herself participating in Diving, Gymnastics, and Golf. Her Diving career didn't end as a state participant for the Panthers. She went on to be a Varsity Diver for the BlueGolds at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where she earned the honors of All American.
During Kristi's college years she started her coaching career in 1992 by coaching Diving for Shanley High School. Under her instruction the Shanley divers had much success at the state level.
Kristi then moved back to Park Rapids and continued her coaching career with PRAHS. Coaching Gymnastics from 1997-2000. In 2000 She made the trasition to coach Boys Swimming and Diving, then added in the Girls team the following fall.
In the 16 years of coaching for Panther Swimming and Diving she has taken multiple divers to the State level. She also coached the diver that broke her own school record.
In the pool Kristi emphasizes team unity, good sportsmanship, goal setting, and inner drive and desire. She truly believes that each and every diver can achieve anything they desire by working hard and not letting fear interfere.
Kristi derives coaching inspiration from her father who coached many sports while she was growing up. He taught her to never give up, and that you have to "want" it to "get" it. He taught her that all kids should be given a fair chance and that with a little love, understanding, and respect they will work their hardest for you.
Boys Diving Coach
As a three sport, Park Rapids High School athlete (Volleyball, Gymnastics, Track) Kristi developed a true love for sports and the beginning of her understanding of the immense impact extra-curricular activities can have on shaping a young person’s life.
Kristi began her coaching career while in college (U of M Moorhead) at FM Acro where she coached everything from toddlers to level 5 & 6 competitive gymnasts. After completing her coursework for Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten and Coaching, Kristi did her coaching practicum in Menahga, MN with the girls Volleyball team. This was directly followed by her first year of being the Park Rapids Gymnastics assistant coach. Kristi coached gymnastics in Park Rapids for 6 years where she was fortunate to take several individuals to the state competition along with the entire team one year. Kristi also dabbled in coaching girls softball.
After taking a coaching break, Kristi returned with a brand-new challenge at the personal request of her son. “Mom, we need a dive coach. We can’t win a swim meet without divers!” In the 2009-10 Swim and Dive season Kristi got her feet wet and began to learn the rules, regulations and skills required of a dive coach. Graciously, retired Coach Roman Horejsi volunteered to spend the first half of the season with her to help her find her way. The section dive coaches also provided and continue to provide much needed support by sharing experiences and knowledge.
Coaching boys and girls requires a completely different skill set that Kristi has found to be a welcome change. Kristi loves the challenge presented day to day as the boys strive to better their skills and increase their difficulty. In addition to diving, Kristi has embraced swimming and continues to marvel at the abilities Coach Fritze shares.
Boys & Girls Assistant Coach
Growing up with a love for water, Megan spent most of her time in a pool. Joining a competitive swim club at the age of 7, in Mankato, MN and continuing to swim all throughout high school. Megan continued to swim year-round, joining the Mankato East Cougars, varsity team at her high school, as a 7th grader. She swam all 6 years earning a varsity letter and a spot on the section team for those years. Throughout swimming, she also found her love for coaching. She would go help the club teams after her practices and coached throughout the summers, along with teaching swim lessons. It was hard to imagine her life without the pool. A shoulder injury her senior year ended her chances at swimming in college.
Megan went on to attended Minnesota State University, Mankato to get her Bachelors in Education. She went back to coach Junior High swimming while finishing school. After graduation, she took a long-term special education position where her love for teaching and her students grew. She then accepted a 3rd-grade teaching position in Park Rapids, MN. Where she was lucky enough to also get to coach the sport she loves.
Megan says her parents are her biggest drive when it comes to work, coaching and obtaining her Masters in Special Education. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you,” her mom tells her on a daily basis.