Sadly, our boys cross country assistant coach for the past ten years, Steve Hoag passed away at home on September 15th at the age of 70. He had been recovering over the past year from double lung transplant surgery, and had developed pneumonia in late June of this year. His enthusiasm for working with young runners was truly amazing. He touched all those who were privileged to get to know him over the years. He was a Minnesota running legend, having been Gopher All American distance runner and Big Ten 2 mile champ in his college days, and national caliber road runner in the 1970’s. He placed 2nd in the 1975 Boston Marathon (behind Bill Rodgers) in 2:11.39, and was ranked #4 in the world that year. He owned and operated Marathon Sports running store in south Minneapolis for twenty plus years, before retiring to help coach at Richfield then Minnetonka. Tonka was so fortunate to have him coaching here over the years, and he will be greatly missed. He will be honored at the Griak Invitation at the University of Minnesota in a moment of silence just before the Division 1 college and High School Gold races.
Steve Hoag on a training run.
We are so sad to write that Joe Lane passed away on Wednesday, June 28. Joe coached boys' track and field at Minnetonka from 1971-2000. He was an assistant with Bob Rogness from 1971-72, and became the boys' head coach in 1973. His teams were legendary, finishing in the top 10 at State numerous times, and winning the State title in 1976.
Joe coached and taught at Minnetonka both in the middle schools and at the high school levels. He touched countless lives in so many ways. He had a passion for kids and coaching that was apparent from the moment you met him! His knowledge was surpassed only by the kindness of his heart. Joe also had a stubborn streak that made you know he meant business!!!! All of these attributes combined to make Joe the wonderful person he was.
On a personal note, I was blessed to meet Joe in 1985, my first year coaching at Minnetonka. He was a wonderful friend, a great mentor, and a caring human being. We were blessed with a great staff, and my days working with Joe and Bob Rogness are some of my favorite memories. As track and field athletes, we all know that it is not only about all the meters we run, or the throws, or the jumps that we do. The relationships that we make are truly some of the greatest memories that we will take with us. As I contacted former athletes to let them know of Joe's passing, one thing was clear-the huge impact that he had made on their lives. Many people commented "He always believed in me." "He is the one who pushed me". "Joe helped me believe in myself". "He had a huge impact on my life". THIS is Joe's legacy. The world is better for having had him and we are better people for having known him. Thank you, Joe.
Minnetonka Girls CC Placed 3rd at the 2016 State Meet. Pictured L-R: Sophie Whicher, Kate LaBlanc, Kylie Melz, Marla Bailey, Libby Halbmaier, Mia Pankoff, Annalise Johnson, Illana Levine & Grace Hoelscher.