“Yeah, it’s nights,” said Hegseth, the longtime activities director for Centennial School District 12. That means he covers athletics, intramural teams, all clubs, all fine arts, and just about every other extra-curricular offering for the thousands of students in the district.
“A number of people have said to me, ‘You know, you’re here until 9:30 on a Tuesday night. Why don’t you come in late on Wednesday?’ Well, if you don’t come in at 7:30 (a.m.) Wednesday, you’ll miss the folks that need to see you right away. The phones starting ringing off the hook, and the e-mails come, so you end up behind anyway. So you just come in.”
He doesn’t mind the hours, and he loves the community, but recently Hegseth decided it was time to call it a career. He will retire at the end of this school year.
The one-time Forest Lake High School basketball coach found new ways to establish relationships in his role at Centennial years ago.
“It was hard, because I didn’t have any students of my own. I had players that I had super-close connection to,” he said. “I moved to this position, and I still know tons of students and I get to know some very well. But the coaching staff kind of becomes my team and my advisers.”
Many of them recently made the trip north to St. Cloud, where Hegseth was named the 2018-2019 recipient of the Pete Veldman Class “AA” Minnesota Athletic/Activity Administrator of the Year by the Minnesota Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association.
“It’s been really exciting. I certainly didn’t expect to be honored in this way,” he said. “When your peers choose you for something like that, it’s humbling and it feels really good, like you’ve contributed in your career.”
He said the entire experience has been a fitting cap to his career.
“The fact that they kind of came together was kind of a neat culmination, to look back an feel like you’ve touched some people and accomplished a few things,” Hegseth said. “I’ve had the chance to work with some fabulous people here at Centennial.”