Milbank High School head track and field coach, Eric Townsend, was named the 2016 Area 1 Class A Coach of the Year by the South Dakota Track and Field Coaches Association. Townsend began his teaching and coaching career in Milbank in 2001. He has been on the track and field staff for all 15 years and took over the reigns in 2011.
Townsend is also the head cross country coach for the Bulldogs and coaches girls basketball, along with his middle school language arts teaching duties. “Since taking over as the head track and field coach, I have tried to continue the rich track and field tradition in Milbank set forth by the past coaches,” he said.
As an assistant coach, Townsend was part of the 2005 MHS boys track and field championship team and a number of Northeast Conference and Region 1A team titles. Since taking over as head coach, the boys team was named Region 1A runner-up in 2014 and captured the NEC and Region 1A titles in 2016. The girls team took second place in NEC and Region 1A in 2016.
“We had a combination of great athletes and a great coaching staff this season,” he acknowledged. “Without the help of Ryan Conrad, Lane Lindquist, Joe Frederiksen, Amy Thue, Josh Schmeichel, Christine Townsend, Jeremy Tostenson, and Melissa Bastian, none of the success we had this season would have been possible. All the hard work put in by the athletes and coaches paid off tremendously, as both teams had one of the best seasons in many years.”
Townsend and his wife, Christine, have two daughters – Zayda, age 7, and Bree, age 5.