St. Charles native Matt Ellinghuysen has been named the interim head baseball coach at Bemidji State University.

Ellinghuysen has been an assistant baseball coach for eight seasons, including six at Bemidji State.

“More than anything, I’m very appreciative of (director of athletics) Tracy Dill for hiring me as the next head coach at BSU,” Ellinghuysen said in a statement. “I’m excited to get going with our guys. I think we have a great group and believe that our team is not too far away from being really competitive within the conference."

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Matt Ellinghuysen
Matt Ellinghuysen

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Ellinghuysen began his coaching career with the Beavers in 2014 before completing his master’s degree as a graduate assistant coach at Southwest Minnesota State University, in Marshall. He coached at Bemidji State from 2014-16 before spending the next two seasons at SMSU. He returned to Bemidji State in 2019 and has spent the past three seasons as the team's top assistant coach.

Ellinghuysen was a four-year starter at third base for Bemidji State from 2010-13. He was voted team captain during his junior and senior seasons. Ellinghuysen hit .283 with 100 hits, 58 RBIs and 30 runs scored during his college career.

Ellinghuysen and his wife Jessica, a former Bemidji State hockey student-athlete, reside in Bemidji.

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Steve McKean, a 1961 Kasson-Mantorville grad who became a legendary basketball coach in New Zealand, recently died of cancer at the age of 77.

"He was pretty much an icon from the sports side in New Zealand just because he had been there so long," said Brad McKean, Steve's younger brother.

After high school, Steve McKean joined the Air Force. After his military stint, he played Division I college basketball at San Jose State. Then in 1971, he ventured to New Zealand to play professional basketball.

"He kind of made a name for himself as a player and then he got into the coaching ranks," Brad McKean said. "He had a very illustrious career over there."

Steve McKean was a stellar outside shooter and his nickname at one point in New Zealand was "Bomber." When his playing career was derailed by injuries in 1972, he quickly turned to coaching. He guided New Zealand teams on the national and Olympic level.

He also coach in the National Basketball League, a professional league in New Zealand, for nine seasons. He received the New Zealand Basketball Coach of Year Award in 1978 and 2002.

McKean had spent the past 50 years in New Zealand. He was known nationally in the country for his coaching. But he also impacted thousands of young people during his time teaching at Spotswood College, and as the regional director of the Taranaki Secondary Schools’ Sports Association, a position he held for 20 years.

He received national honors in both 2012 and 2016. First he received the Order of Merit for services to sport. Then he received a Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Basketball New Zealand Hall of Fame.

Growing up in Mantorville, McKean was best friends with Tink Larson and Jerry Raddatz. The trio stayed in touch over the years. Both Larson and Raddatz made big impacts in the area in baseball.

"They spent a lot of time together," Brad McKean said. "Those three were pretty tight."

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Rochester Century senior Gracie Shannon has signed a letter of intent to compete in Division I women's track and field at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Shannon is a stellar middle and distance runner for Century. She has the second-best time in both the 800-meter run (2:25.81) and the 1,600 (5:34.0) among area Class AA girls runners this spring.

Shannon was also one of Century's top runners in girls cross country last fall.

Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at glimbeck@postbulletin.com.