Lourdes AD job remains open; coaches hail the work that had been done by Steve Strickland

Steve Strickland resigned from his position as Lourdes activities director nearly two months ago. To so many Eagles coaches, he was a priceless worker and Lourdes advocate.

Steve Strickland.
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER — June 21 was Steve Strickland’s last day as activities director at Rochester Lourdes.

Strickland resigned from the job he'd held for five years.

Also Read
Eric Larson is the choice as Lourdes hires him to replace Steve Strickland as its activities director/assistant principal. Larson wil continue as the school's head boys basketball coach.
Delaney Fleming learned to love hockey while growing up in Rochester. She helped Lourdes to a pair of Class A state tournaments before transferring to Shattuck St. Mary's as a sophomore. Friday, she announced her decision to play Division I college hockey at Ohio State University, beginning in the 2023-24 season.

Nearly two months later, the opening — which is now being advertised as an assistant principal/activities director position — is unfilled. High school sports are set to begin on Aug.15.

Lourdes President Annemarie Vega verified that the position remains open in an email late Wednesday afternoon.

It’s left members of the Lourdes coaching staff looking back fondly at what they had in the 54-year-old Strickland, who was regarded as a tremendously hard worker, a community builder and an integral aide for Lourdes coaches.


Mike Kesler is one of a pack of Eagles coaches who had huge respect and appreciation for Strickland.

In his 18th year as the Lourdes head football coach, Kesler is regarded as among the state’s best. Kesler had the same feeling about Strickland.

“Steve was a tremendous activities director,” Kesler said. “His communication with the kids, the relationships he built with local officials and the Minnesota State High School League and our community was fantastic. Plus, he was an extremely hard worker. He put in so much time. But the most important thing about him was that he was all about the kids.”

Jeff True had the same feelings about Strickland’s impact. The Eagles head boys hockey coach, who has coached boys and girls hockey in some capacity at Lourdes for the past 10 years, regarded Strickland as crucial to his program.

After hearing from several other high school hockey coaches around the state about their individual situations, it became even clearer to True what he had in Strickland.

“Steve was arguably our loudest cheerleader at games and the most visible person we had there,” True said. “He also showed up at lots of practices. He was the ultimate advocate for our program and players. And we have a cooperative with Dover-Eyota and Stewartville, and he treated those kids just like they were Lourdes students. All of it made my job a lot easier.”

What True appreciated most about Strickland was his taking on so many responsibilities within his program, short of the actual coaching.

“He allowed me to focus on the thing that I enjoy most and that is working with these kids and their families,” True said. “He’s going to be missed.”


For five years, Strickland considered all of it not just labor, but a labor of love.

In a written statement, he thanked so many connected to Lourdes for the opportunity he was given.

“I want to thank the RCS Community, its families, coaches, teachers and school directors for five fantastic years,” said Strickland, who did not elaborate on the reason for his resignation. “In reality, the RCS Community has been a part of my family for over 20 years. It is an amazing community and I only hope that I helped to improve it or at least preserve its stellar activities for the next generation.

“It is undeniable that I will miss being involved with the games and events and interacting daily with the students. In the years ahead, I will continue to support the students and athletes of this community. My role may be different, but I look forward to what God has in store for me and my family. Go Eagles!”

Pat has been a Post Bulletin sports reporter since 1994. He covers Rochester John Marshall football, as well as a variety of other southeastern Minnesota football teams. Among my other southeastern Minnesota high school beats are girls basketball, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track and field, high school and American Legion baseball, volleyball, University of Minnesota sports (on occasion) and the Timberwolves (on occasion). Readers can reach Pat at 507-285-7723 or
What to read next
Jamaal Gibson, a 2010 Austin High graduate, has been named the new boys basketball coach for the Packers, replacing Kris Fadness.
Rylee Nelson, an incoming senior at Zumbrota-Mazeppa, has accepted a volleyball scholarship offer from Seton Hall University, which plays in the Big East Conference and is located in New Jersey.
Rochester's Thomas Bruss, a relief pitcher, has signed a professional baseball contract to play with the New Jersey Jackals of the Frontier League.