Apple Valley seeks softball coach
Christiansen steps down after 10 seasons
Apple Valley High School’s Carla Christiansen, the longest-tenured softball coach in the South Suburban Conference, resigned this week.
“It’s pretty simple – I’m a mom,” said Christiansen, who has two daughters and a son. “I’m going to have one kid in middle school, one in elementary school and one in preschool. That was it. It was getting tougher and tougher to do the things in the off-season that the program needed.”
She was only the second head softball coach in Apple Valley’s history. Christiansen was head coach for 10 seasons and was an assistant to Jim Smola for six years before that.
Her 2012 team went 13-9 and reached the second round of the Section 3AAA playoffs.
Christiansen will continue as a health and wellness teacher at Apple Valley High School and will become the school’s physical education department chair July 1. In the latter role, she will replace longtime AVHS teacher and coach Bill Demaray, who is retiring.
AVHS athletic director Pete Buesgens will accept applications for the softball coaching position through July 27.
Even though Christiansen said she feels certain that stepping down from coaching is the right decision, she admitted having some mixed emotions about it. Apple Valley could be a rising program in the South Suburban.
“That’s the part I’m a little bummed about,” she said. “I started four ninth-graders this year and had several sophomores who were playing quite a bit.”
Christiansen said all three of her children are getting involved in sports and liked that she was a coach, but they’re also starting to understand what her decision means.
Her oldest daughter asked her, “so, you’re going to be home? So, we can do this, do that? Does that mean I can have friends over after school?” she said.
Christiansen said she could see herself returning to coaching when her children are older, noting that she has coached for her entire career in education. Before joining the Apple Valley program, she coached four years at West Delaware High School in Manchester, Iowa. Three of those years she taught in District 196 before moving to Iowa for the summer to coach softball. High school softball and baseball in Iowa is played in the summer.