By Bob San
Maple Grove girls’ soccer coach Ben LeVahn recently received the State Coach of the Year award. It was the second time LeVahn won the honor. The last time was in 2004.
LeVahn just finished his 11th season as the Crimson head coach, and 14th year with the program. In this past season, he led Maple Grove to the first conference championship since 2005. The Crimson finished 13-3-1 and was ranked as high as fourth in the state.
“I am very honored to win the award,” said LeVahn. “It is always a great honor to be recognized by your peers when there are so many great coaches involved in coaching Minnesota high school soccer. We had a great season this year, one of our best ever, but the bottom line is it was a great group of young women to coach and I’m going to miss coaching them.”
LeVahn also credits players, coaches and parents in the Crimson girls soccer family for his recognition as the Coach of the Year.
“Everyone who is a stakeholder in the Crimson girls soccer program buys into our mission and we have a very positive program top to bottom as a result,” he said. “I have so many people that I work with within this program that make it one of excellence. My assistant coaches Gordy Kruse, Mohamed Said, Lindsey Mancuso, Alyssa Schulz and Brad Lawinger have always done a superb job of providing a climate of excellence, challenging the kids to improve at soccer and life but still connecting with them and making it a positive experience. “
He continued, “I have great support from my school and administration (principal Sara Vernig and athletic director Ron Zopfi), the parents in the program, the players and the Maple Grove soccer community. I am blessed to have a community that supports soccer from the youth levels through the traveling programs and the kids are fantastic and really committed to working hard.”
In addition to winning two State Coach of the Year awards, LeVahn also was named Section Coach of the Year four times.