Carpentier help build girls varsity team into contender
Former Farmington soccer coach and teacher Rob Carpentier was recently hired as the new activities coordinator at Park Center High School.
Although it was a promotion for Carpentier, he paused for a moment before jumping at the chance.
“Leaving the Farmington program was the toughest part of my decision,” he said. “That says so much about the people in the program, from kids to parents to coaches … My time with the Farmington girls program was honestly the most fulfilling coaching experience I’ve ever had.”
He leaves the program in the hands of Tracie Randall, who was the junior varsity coach.
“I think it is a wonderful decision,” Carpentier said. “I feel great for Tracie. She has the technical knowledge to be a success and she already has relationships with many of the girls. This is a great match for the girls, too, as I know they were looking for continuity and a seamless transition from one head coach to another.”
A seamless transition will be helpful considering the Tigers have been a team on the rise.
Carpentier was the girls varsity soccer coach for the past four years and social studies teacher.
Last year, Carpentier’s team finished tied for first in the Missota Conference and was the runner-up in the Section 1AA finals. With a 12-5-2 record, it was the best season yet for the Tigers.
“I am confident it will be even greater this coming fall,” Carpentier said. “The academic success was great and, of course, there was the build-up to last year’s record-breaking season on the field.”
He said his experience with the team will help him with the Pirates of Park Center, especially with how much the program grew, which gave him plenty of administrative experience. The number of participants increased from about 60-65 girls his first year to 88 last year.
“The real preparation came from my ability to build and cultivate relationships with athletic and activity directors around the metro area,” Carpentier said. “This included discussions of various issues that activity administrators face on a consistent basis.”
The Farmington activities and athletic director Jon Summer “was a powerful influence on my preparation,” he said.
“If I can be half the administrator he is then I will find success,” Carpentier said.
He’s been teaching for more than 20 years. Early on in his career he focused on studying at William Mitchell College of Law, but in 1994, weeks before he was scheduled to take the bar exam, he was offered a job as a teacher and never looked back.
He said he envisioned being a teacher and coach until he retired, but those close to him suggested he look into activity administration.
“I feel strongly that I can make a more strategic, big picture difference with our students by taking on this new challenge,” Carpentier said. “I have always been involved in education because of the positive influence I can have on students. This allows me to go from coaching a team to coaching the coaches and advisors throughout an entire activity department.”
As he leaves Farmington for life in the northern suburbs, Carpentier said he is forever “indebted to Tracie Randall, Linda Crawford, Robb Virgin, Eric Shelton, Jon Graff, Jason Kohlbeck and Kjerstin Theraldson as members of our staff for the loyalty and friendship they provided me in my time in Farmington. And of course, I have to thank Jon Summer for the support and belief he showed throughout my time in the community.”
New baseball coach
Assistant varsity baseball coach Graff is taking over as head coach for the Tigers next year.
Graff is replacing Mike Winters, who has been the head coach for the past 13 seasons.
Graff has been an assistant for the past 11 years. He’s also helped coach football, soccer and basketball. He has been a history teacher at Farmington High School since 1997.
Graff also coaches the American Legion baseball team in Farmington.